Human technology

Chinese autonomous driving start-up raises $ 157 million for Hillhouse, Meituan

SHANGHAI, Dec.22 (Reuters) – Haomo.AI, a Chinese autonomous driving startup controlled by Great Wall Motor (601633.SS) chairman Wei Jianjun, has raised nearly one billion yuan ($ 157 million) during a round table as investors multiply bets on smart car technologies.

Haomo will use funds raised from investors – such as Hillhouse Capital GL Ventures’ seed investment unit, Meituan (3690.HK), Qualcomm Ventures and others – to build its talent pool and improve its capacity. of R&D, the company said in a statement. Wednesday.

The company did not provide details on the valuation.

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Automakers and tech companies are investing billions of dollars in autonomous driving, with the goal of quickly taking the lead in what many see as the future of mobility.

General Motors Co (GM.N) announced in September that it would invest $ 300 million in Chinese autonomous driving start-up Momenta to develop autonomous driving technologies for future models in China, its first such partnership. in the world’s No. 1 automotive market.

Other global automakers also have ties to Chinese companies in the nascent technology. Toyota Motor (7203.T) is testing vehicles with, Nissan Motor is working with WeRide, while Honda Motor (7267.T) has partnered with AutoX.

Haomo, formerly known as Great Wall Motor’s intelligent driving department, said it plans to make its Level 2 semi-autonomous driving system, which requires human driver supervision, available in 34 models. vehicles by the end of 2022.

The system is currently available in five Great Wall Motor vehicle models.

Haomo also produces Level 4 autonomous driving logistics vehicles that can handle all aspects of driving under most circumstances without human intervention to deliver groceries and packages with partners including Meituan.

($ 1 = 6.3716 Chinese yuan)

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Reporting by Zhang Yan and Brenda Goh; Editing by Himani Sarkar

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