Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi and WeRide.ai to increase presence in Chinese autonomous vehicle services.
Alliance Ventures, the strategic venture capital arm of Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, has become the lead strategic investor of WeRide.ai (formerly JingChi.ai), China’s leading autonomous driving company focused on Level 4 (L4) self-driving technology, following completion of the company’s Series A funding.
The investment in WeRide.ai is the first investment in China and part of the Alliance Ventures strategy to support entrepreneurs and start-ups at the cutting edge of next-generation automotive technology.
As a result of the Alliance Ventures support, WeRide.ai will become the first Chinese start-up specializing in L4 autonomous driving to receive investment from and form strategic partnership with a global automotive group.
François Dossa, Alliance Global Vice President, Ventures and Open innovation, said: “Autonomous systems are a key priority of the Alliance as we develop new mobility services. Our member companies are committed to introducing such technologies in key markets such as China, so we are delighted to be supporting WeRide.ai as it pioneers such full autonomous systems for the demanding Chinese market-place.”
Tony Han, CEO and co-founder of WeRide.ai said, “In addition to the financial investment, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi and WeRide.ai will further our relationship through strategic cooperation in specific areas. We truly believe the next stage of autonomous transportation revolution 2.0 has arrived. WeRide.ai will continue leading the technology revolution and provide relevant and meaningful benefits to everyone."
WeRide.ai, advised by Morgan Stanley on the latest funding round, is committed to creating autonomous driving technology for China which will dramatically change people’s views of cars, transportation services and urban construction design.
Utilizing the latest investment, WeRide.ai plans to deploy a fleet of 500 autonomous vehicles in 2019, to accumulate 5 million kilometers of actual autonomous driving mileage, and conduct operation and commercialization trials in Guangzhou and Anqing with key partners. Since launching its autonomous trial operations in China, WeRide.ai's autonomous vehicles have accumulated a total mileage of more than 60,000 kilometers, and served more than 3,000 passengers worldwide.
Pre-A round lead-investor, Qiming Venture Capital participated in the latest round, which was also supported by Hanfor Capital, Atop Capital, Johnson Electric, Xiaopeng He, Idinvest Partners, and OceanIQ Capital.
WeRide.ai, which currently has more than 200 employees worldwide – 70% of whom are engineers, is the first autonomous driving company in China to use 5G network for remote control of a driverless vehicle. The company’s goal is to bring autonomous vehicle operations into Chinese cities by 2020 and become the world's first large-scale commercial application of autonomous vehicle technology.
Groupe Renault, Nissan Motor Company and Mitsubishi Motors represent the world’s largest automotive alliance. It is the longest-lasting and most productive cross-cultural partnership in the auto industry. Together, the partners sold more than 10.6 million vehicles in nearly 200 countries in 2017. The member companies are focused on collaboration and maximizing synergies to boost competitiveness. They have strategic collaborations with other automotive groups, including Germany’s Daimler and China’s Dongfeng. This strategic alliance is the industry leader in zero-emission vehicles and is developing the latest advanced technologies, with plans to offer autonomous drive, connectivity features and services on a wide range of affordable vehicles.
Founded in 2017 by Tony Han together with a group of talented individuals, WeRide.ai has emerged as the leading autonomous drving company aiming to achieve large-scale, commercial deployment of fully L4 autonomous vehicles for the public. WeRdi.ai is committed to using artificial intelligence to deliver fully autonomous vehicles that operate without human intervention to perceive the environment and deliver a safe, robust, and convenient Mobility as a Service. WeRide.ai is a privately held company headquartered in Guangzhou, with offices in Sunnyvale, Beijing and Anqing.
Alliance Communications, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi
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Public Relations, WeRide.ai