Self-driving electric vehicles are a hot topic at the moment as auto manufacturers and others race to create the perfect driving solution. Tesla may have started the revolution, but since then many others have joined the race.
Since 2014, China has been the leading country when it comes to self-driving and electric car sales and it shows no signs of slowing down. Investments into this Chinese artificial intelligence (AI) electric vehicle startups topped $5 billion in the last two years. The following are the top 8 funded Chinese automotive AI startups:
LeSee: Developed by a Chinese internet company, LeEco, and backed by around $1 billion in investments, this autonomous EV concept project was dubbed the first “mobility ecosystem on wheels”.
Momenta: This AI vehicle startup has the backing of German automaker Daimler behind it as well as others and focuses on using deep learning techniques to improve self-driving safety. The company is confident of its software that it says its more cost-effective and scalable than any LIDAR-based system.
Future Mobility Products: This autonomous EV automaker was founded back in 2016 and plans to release three different self-driving vehicles by 2022. The first may even be ready as early as 2019 for the Chinese market.
NIO: Having already raised more than $2 billion since it was founded in 2015, this company is definitely one to look out for in 2018. Earlier this year NIO claimed the title of producing the fastest self-driving car in the world. The car managed to reach a staggering 160 mph without a human behind the steering wheel.
Chehejia: This Beijing-based AI vehicle startup is looking to develop two different kinds of EV. One will be an SUV type vehicle that’s designed for the longer venture, and another that will be a Smart-car sized EV designed to be for short trips and for driving around town.
Weltmeister: Based in Shanghai, this AI vehicle startup has investors such as Baidu Inc and Tencent onboard and has already raised around $1.8 billion in funding. However, the company’s founder, Freeman Shen, says that’s not enough and more funds are needed before it can scale up. The company is aiming to begin selling its first EV next year.
TuSimple: This AI vehicle startup is a little different from the others. Rather than put all its efforts into producing self-driving EV cars, it’s developing self-driving AI trucks instead with Nvidia as a backer and key investor.
BAIC BJEV: BJEV is a branch of the BAIC Group, who is a state-owned business and holding company for machine and auto manufacturers who are headquartered in Beijing. In the first half of 2017 BJEV sold more than 30,000 EV’s.