AV startup DeepRoute.ai raises $300m - Just Auto
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AV startup DeepRoute.ai raises $300m

By Graeme Roberts 14 Sep 2021 (Last Updated September 14th, 2021 17:19)

Test fleet expansion and technology development.

Chinese autonomous driving startup DeepRoute.ai told the Reuters news agency on Tuesday it raised US$300m from investors including Alibaba to expand its test fleet and develop technology including self-driving trucks.

Other investors in the funding round include Greater China-focused tech investor Jeneration Capital, Chinese automaker Geely and some previous investors, DeepRoute.ai said in a statement cited by the news agency. It did not disclose its valuation.

DeepRoute.ai, which is testing vehicles in Shenzhen and Wuhan, will use the funds to double the fleet of its test robo-taxis to 150 by the end of this year from the current 70, chief executive Zhou Guang told Reuters in an interview.

It will also expand its workforce to 600, including in-vehicle safety drivers, by the end of this year from 400 now.

Founded in 2019, DeepRoute.ai collaborates with Dongfeng Motor on self-driving technology. It also works with Geely’s ride-hailing unit Cao Cao.

DeepRoute.ai will also develop self-driving light duty trucks for urban logistics services, Zhou told Reuters, adding Alibaba would be a big client.

Alibaba said in June it plans to develop self-driving trucks with its logistics subsidiary Cainiao, Reuters noted.