China’s nabs $102M at nearly $1B valuation

Forums Startups News (Startup) China’s nabs $102M at nearly $1B valuation

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        Autonomous cars are fast-approaching, and so are those building the platforms that will help operate them. Today, — the startup whose autonomous driving platform powers the first fully self-driving fleet in China — announced that it has raised $102 million in funding. is positioning itself to be one of the companies to watch in this space. Co-founded as recently as December 2016 by Tiancheng Lou and CEO James Peng — Peng is the former chief architect of China’s search giant Baidu (which itself is making big inroads into car systems) — the company became the first startup to get a T3 license to test autonomous vehicles in Beijing. (T3 is the highest level available in China today.) In Beijing, it’s been working on training its systems on roads in a closed site; in-vehicle safety procedures; and some other 39 different features related to getting a self-driving system to work without critical flaws.

        In the last seven months, it’s also launched a self-driving taxi service. In February, signed a strategic agreement with Guangzhou Auto Group and subsequently rolled out a fleet of vehicles in Guangzhou itself. That fleet has now given 1,000 rides in a 30-km area.

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