Chinese Self-driving Startup WeRide Raises $310m, Strengthens Partnership With Nissan

Chinese self-driving startup WeRide announced on Wednesday that it raised $310 million, which brings its market value to $3.3 billion. The company also mentioned that it would strengthen its partnership with Nissan Motors on the development of self-driving technology for the Chinese market.

Led by Tony Han, the company aims at developing autonomous vehicle systems that are capable of self-driving in any circumstance, completely devoid of any human intervention. This is known as Level 4 Autonomous Standard in the auto industry.

The company did not reveal the details of the funding.

WeRide is headquartered in Guangzhou, China, and is currently testing vehicles in California.

In a statement by the company, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance and China Structural Reform Fund were mentioned as investors for the $310 million funding round.

WeRide is strengthening its ties with Nissan after the funding round as it plans on providing mobility options that are both useful and effective for people, and taking the lead in self-driving technology market. Autonomous driving technology is receiving serious attention from investors. Technology firms and automakers have begun to invest largely in the self-driving technology, hoping to be at the forefront of what may be described as the future of mobility.

Self-driving technology is quite popular in Guangzhou, China, where there have been several cases of Covid-19 these recent weeks. Autonomous driving companies like WeRide, Pony.ai, etc., have been helping mitigate the effect of the lockdown by delivering essential goods to residents in areas where lockdowns are still in effect, using self-driving vehicles.

Self-driving vehicles are becoming popular as time goes by and companies are on their toes to take the market lead. This technology will eventually reduce or eradicate the need for human drivers, as it promises cars that are capable of completely driving themselves in the future.

Talking about the partnership with WeRide, the Chief Operating Officer of Nissan; Ashwani Gupta said, “as China stands at the forefront of helping define the future of mobility, we are delighted to partner with WeRide to bring even more innovative technologies and services to enrich people’s lives in China”.

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