Chinese driverless car start-up WeRide makes first acquisition as competition ramps up

WeRide robotaxis driving around the southern Chinese language metropolis of Guangzhou. The initiating-up began checking out robotaxis within the metropolis in 2019.


GUANGZHOU, China — Chinese language driverless automotive initiating-up WeRide has made its first acquisition, an independent trucking firm, as it appears to commercialize self-driving technology.

The Guangzhou-essentially based firm bought MoonX.AI for an undisclosed sum, it launched on Tuesday.

Qingxiong Yang, founder and CEO of MoonX.AI, will turn out to be vice chairman of WeRide and dean of the firm’s analysis institute. Bigger than 50 engineers from MoonX.AI will be a part of WeRide.

WeRide’s acquisition highlights the lickety-split push to commercialize driverless technology in China as competition intensifies. The firm’s competitors consist of diverse and AutoX, both essentially based in south China, as well to technology huge Baidu.

Before MoonX.AI, Yang labored for the independent driving unit of embattled traipse-hailing carrier Didi. WeRide hopes to bolster its crew of specialists with the acquisition.

“MoonX has a crew of talented engineers with sizable skills in independent driving technology trend and commercialization,” WeRide CEO Tony Han counseled CNBC. “The acquisition of MoonX enables us to make an even stronger crew and entice one of the most easy skills within the industry.”

WeRide will furthermore originate bigger its footprint in China, opening a recent place of job within the tech hub of Shenzhen.

The acquisition and growth furthermore comes on the attend of a funding round in Would per chance per chance that valued WeRide at $3.3 billion.

WeRide hints at recent merchandise forward

WeRide specializes in constructing independent driving programs that it’ll sell to automakers.

The firm launched a robotaxi carrier in Guangzhou in 2019 and opened it as much as contributors of the public closing one year. The firm is furthermore checking out an independent bus.

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

Read extra about electric automobiles from CNBC Pro

Though MoonX is an independent trucking firm, WeRide did not verify whether it’ll initiating up expanding into this industry.

But Han talked about the firm is “actively engaged with companions from diverse industries to extend our scope of carrier.”

He furthermore hinted at a recent product forward.

“MoonX’s skills will motivate WeRide originate another game-altering AD (independent driving) product,” Han talked about.

WeRide declined to statement extra when asked for added necessary parts.

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