Chinese self-driving technology company WeRide this week unveiled a Level-4 self-driving cargo van, as it looks to expand its business in the urban delivery segment.

The company has been working with Chinese vehicle manufacturer Jiangling Motors and local delivery company ZTO Express to develop the WeRide Robovan for mass production.

This is the company’s third autonomous vehicle after Robotaxi, an autonomous taxi service launched in the Chinese city of Guangzhou in 2019, and the Mini Robobus – an autonomous bus service it began testing earlier this year also in Guangzhou.

Robovan is based on Jiangling’s battery-powered E100 van and uses WeRide’s full-stack software and hardware. The plan is to offer around the clock delivery services on urban roads in China.

WeRide founder and CEO Tony Han said in a statement: “With the introduction of Robovan, we have heralded a new era of autonomous driving for urban logistics in the country. By teaming up with two key players in the sector, Jiangling Motors and ZTO Express, we continue to uphold the triangle model of collaborating. We aim to deliver both smart mobility and smart logistics for cities in the future.”

ZTO Express vice-president Jin Renqun added: “We have been following the application of self-driving technology in urban logistics. By drawing on our strengths in hardware and software through this cooperation, we will jointly explore a new model for smart logistics and develop an integrated autonomous driving solution for urban logistics.”

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