• Alibaba has led investments price greater than $300 million into Chinese language autonomous driving start-up DeepRoute.ai.
  • The Shenzhen-based start-up makes the self-driving techniques for autos that contain {hardware} and software program.
  • Alibaba’s involvement within the funding spherical underscores the ambitions of China’s expertise giants to get a foothold within the space of driverless automobiles.



a car driving on a road: A Deeproute.ai robotaxi on display.


© Offered by CNBC
A Deeproute.ai robotaxi on show.

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

The Shenzhen-based start-up makes the self-driving techniques for autos that contain {hardware} and software program. DeepRoute.ai 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 creating expertise for logistics.

Alibaba’s involvement within the funding spherical underscores the ambitions of China’s expertise 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 car maker Xpeng.

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

Maxwell Zhou, CEO of DeepRoute.ai, informed CNBC that “many of the cash is being spent to develop the expertise and the remaining is scale up the fleet dimension” of its robotaxis. Cash will even go towards hiring extra expertise, Zhou added.

The CEO stated the corporate presently operates round 70 robotaxis and desires to develop its fleet to between 150 to 160. Half of the robotaxis will probably be operated by DeepRoute.ai, whereas the opposite half will probably be run by its companions, Zhou stated.

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

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

There are just a few sources of income for DeepRoute.ai. It may well cost passengers for its robotaxi service or income share with a ride-hailing agency. Or it might additionally promote its autonomous driving system to automakers in return for a one-time payment in addition to an annual service payment.

Within the logistics house, DeepRoute.ai may run an autonomous driving fleet for a corporation or once more, promote its driverless expertise.

China’s autonomous driving trade is getting very aggressive.

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

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