Chinese self-driving firm DeepRoute.ai raised $300 million from investors including Alibaba to expand its test fleet and develop technologies including self-driving trucks.
DeepRoute said this week it will tap the investment to expand its team, ramp up R&D, and scale up collaboration with automakers and fleets.
Alibaba’s involvement in the funding round underscores the ambitions of China’s technology giants to get a foothold in the area of driverless cars. Alibaba is already an investor in another Chinese autonomous driving car start-up called AutoX and is backing electric vehicle maker Xpeng.
Founded in 2019, collaborates with automaker Dongfeng Motor on self-driving technologies, also works with Geely's ride-hailing unit Cao Cao, aims to develop Level 4 autonomous driving robotaxis and medium-duty trucks for freight delivery in urban areas. DeepRoute.ai's rival WeRide, backed by Nissan, said this month it would develop self-driving vans, while Pony.ai, backed by Toyota, said earlier it would develop autonomous trucks.
DeepRoute.ai will also develop self-driving light duty trucks for urban logistics services, and Alibaba said in June it plans to develop self-driving trucks with its logistics subsidiary Cainiao.