WeRide robotaxis driving across the southern Chinese language metropolis of Guangzhou. The beginning-up started testing robotaxis within the metropolis in 2019.
GUANGZHOU, China — Chinese language driverless automotive start-up WeRide has made its first acquisition, an autonomous trucking firm, because it appears to commercialize self-driving expertise.
The Guangzhou-based firm purchased MoonX.AI for an undisclosed sum, it introduced on Tuesday.
Qingxiong Yang, founder and CEO of MoonX.AI, will turn into vp of WeRide and dean of the agency’s analysis institute. Greater than 50 engineers from MoonX.AI will be part of WeRide.
WeRide’s acquisition highlights the fast push to commercialize driverless expertise in China as competitors intensifies. The corporate’s rivals embrace different start-ups like Pony.ai and AutoX, each primarily based in south China, in addition to expertise large Baidu.
Previous to MoonX.AI, Yang labored for the autonomous driving unit of embattled ride-hailing service Didi. WeRide hopes to bolster its crew of consultants with the acquisition.
“MoonX has a crew of gifted engineers with substantial expertise in autonomous driving expertise growth and commercialization,” WeRide CEO Tony Han instructed CNBC. “The acquisition of MoonX allows us to construct a good stronger crew and entice the most effective abilities within the trade.”
WeRide may also broaden its footprint in China, opening a brand new workplace within the tech hub of Shenzhen.
The acquisition and enlargement additionally comes on the again of a funding spherical in Could that valued WeRide at $3.3 billion.
WeRide hints at new merchandise forward
WeRide focuses on creating autonomous driving programs that it might promote to automakers.
The corporate launched a robotaxi service in Guangzhou in 2019 and opened it as much as members of the general public final 12 months. The corporate can be testing an autonomous bus.
WeRide says it has clocked 5.5 million kilometers of autonomous driving check miles with its robotaxis and robobus.
Although MoonX is an autonomous trucking firm, WeRide did not affirm whether or not it’s going to start increasing into this trade.
However Han mentioned the corporate is “actively engaged with companions from totally different industries to increase our scope of service.”
He additionally hinted at a brand new product forward.
“MoonX’s experience will assist WeRide make one other game-changing AD (autonomous driving) product,” Han mentioned.
WeRide declined to remark additional when requested for extra particulars.