WeRide robotaxis driving across the southern Chinese language metropolis of Guangzhou. The beginning-up started testing robotaxis within the metropolis in 2019.

WeRide

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 know-how.

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 out to be vice chairman 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 speedy push to commercialize driverless know-how in China as competitors intensifies. The corporate’s rivals embody different start-ups like Pony.ai and AutoX, each primarily based in south China, in addition to know-how big 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 know-how growth and commercialization,” WeRide CEO Tony Han informed CNBC. “The acquisition of MoonX allows us to construct a good stronger crew and appeal to the very best abilities within the trade.”

WeRide will even 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 Might that valued WeRide at $3.3 billion.

WeRide hints at new merchandise forward

WeRide focuses on creating autonomous driving methods that it could 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 yr. The corporate can be testing an autonomous bus.

WeRide says it has clocked 5.5 million kilometers of autonomous driving take a look at miles with its robotaxis and robobus.

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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 stated 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 stated.

WeRide declined to remark additional when requested for extra particulars.