Alibaba invests $300M into robotaxi tech
Alibaba Group, the worldwide leader in online trade, has invested over 300 million USD into DeepRoute.ai, a Chinese startup company developing software for autonomous vehicles, as its first step towards creating its own robotaxi network.
DeepRoute.ai develops software and hardware solutions for SAE Level 4 autonomous vehicles, meaning that the driver may only be needed in emergencies. In order to help the cars get their bearings, the startup has developed a special device called DeepRoute–Sense. It is essentially a compact roof-mounted box containing eight cameras, three lidars, satellite navigation hardware, and controllers.
The young company already has 70 self-driving taxis in its fleet, and the funds received from Alibaba will enable it to expand it to 150-160 cars. Most of the money will be directed towards R&D, of course.
DeepRoute.ai aims to make pilotless commercial transports affordable. Aside from the robotaxi, the company plans to produce medium-duty trucks. It also offers logistics services for its business partners and helps implement driverless technologies.
Editor Andrew Raspopov