Somaca issued the following announcement on Oct. 31.
Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi and WeRide.ai will strengthen their presence in the Chinese market for autonomous vehicle services.
Following a Series A round of fundraising, Alliance Ventures, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi venture capital fund, became the main investor of WeRide.ai (formerly JingChi.ai), China's leading autonomous driver, specialized in level 4 technologies.
This investment in WeRide.ai's capital is the first in Alliance Ventures in China and is part of its strategy for start-up companies at the forefront of next generation automotive technologies.
With the support of Alliance Ventures, WeRide.ai will become the first Tier 4 autonomous Chinese start-up to benefit from an investment from a global automotive group and form a partnership strategic with him.
"Independent driving systems are at the heart of the Alliance's priorities, in line with the strategy for the development of new mobility services. Alliance members are looking to deploy these technologies in key markets, such as China. We are delighted to help WeRide.ai to launch fully autonomous systems that meet the requirements of the Chinese market. " Underlines François Dossa, director Ventures Alliance and Open Innovation.
Tony Han, chief executive officer and co-founder of WeRide.ai , adds: "The combination between Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi and WeRide.ai is not only financial but also strategic. We are convinced that the time for the 2.0 autonomous transport revolution has come and that WeRide.ai will remain at the forefront of this technological revolution and will continue to propose relevant and useful technologies for everyone. "
WeRide.ai, who was advised by Morgan Stanley in its last round of financing, is committed to creating an autonomous driving technology for China that will profoundly change the vision we have of automobiles, services transport and construction projects in urban areas.
As a result of these investments, WeRide.ai plans to deploy a fleet of 500 stand-alone vehicles in 2019, to accumulate 5 million kilometers of autonomous driving, and to conduct operational and marketing trials in Guangzhou and Anqing with key partners. Since the launch of autonomous driving tests in China, WeRide.ai's autonomous vehicles have traveled more than 60,000 km in total and transported more than 3,000 passengers worldwide.
Qiming Venture Capital, lead investor pre-series A, participated in the final stage of financing alongside Hanfor Capital, Atop Capital, Johnson Electric, Xiaopeng He, Idinvest Partners and OceanIQ Capital.
WeRide.ai, which currently has over 200 employees worldwide - 70% of whom are engineers - is the first autonomous car manufacturer in China to use the 5G network to remotely pilot a driverless vehicle. The company's goal is to launch autonomous vehicles in Chinese cities by 2020 and to be the first to market large-scale autonomous vehicle technologies.
Original source: https://media.group.renault.com/global/fr-fr/renault-nissan-mitsubishi/media/pressreleases/21218957/alliance-ventures-realise-un-investissement-strategique-dans-werideai