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Alibaba leads $300 million funding into Chinese language autonomous driving start-up

A robotaxi on show.

GUANGZHOU, China — Alibaba has led investments price greater than $300 million into Chinese language autonomous driving start-up

The Shenzhen-based start-up makes the self-driving methods for automobiles that contain {hardware} and software program. runs a fleet of autonomous taxis with some operated by its companions together with ride-hailing agency CaoCao and automaker Dongfeng Motors. However the firm can also be growing know-how for logistics.

Alibaba’s involvement within the funding spherical underscores the ambitions of China’s know-how giants to get a foothold within the space of driverless automobiles. Alibaba is already an investor in one other Chinese language autonomous driving automotive start-up referred to as AutoX and is backing electrical automobile maker Xpeng.

Alibaba additionally has its personal logistics arm referred to as Cainiao which plans to develop self-driving trucks.

Maxwell Zhou, CEO of, informed CNBC that “many of the cash is being spent to develop the know-how and the remainder is scale up the fleet measurement” of its robotaxis. Cash may also go towards hiring extra expertise, Zhou added.

The CEO mentioned the corporate presently operates round 70 robotaxis and desires to broaden its fleet to between 150 to 160. Half of the robotaxis will likely be operated by, whereas the opposite half will likely be run by its companions, Zhou mentioned.

In a press launch, the corporate mentioned its long-term technique consists of growing medium-duty vans for city logistics, enhancing transit for shipments in addition to freight supply.

Zhou declined to touch upon any particular tasks with Alibaba, however mentioned “each alternative is feasible.”

There are a couple of sources of income for It could cost passengers for its robotaxi service or income share with a ride-hailing agency. Or it could additionally promote its autonomous driving system to automakers in return for a one-time price in addition to an annual service price.

Within the logistics area, may run an autonomous driving fleet for a corporation or once more, promote its driverless know-how.

China’s autonomous driving trade is getting very aggressive.

Chinese language web large Baidu and ride-hailing app Didi are investing in autonomous driving. A slew of different start-ups in China together with and WeRide are additionally placing cash into that area. Final week, WeRide launched a brand new product referred to as Robovan designed for city logistics, an space that can also be exploring.


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