News: Autonomous driving startup Momenta raises $500 million from SAIC, Toyota, others.
BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese autonomous driving startup Momenta announced on Friday that it has received $ 500 million from SAIC Motor, Toyota Motor and auto parts supplier Bosch as the global auto industry pursues the autonomous future.
Further investors in the financing round are Daimler AG, Temasek, Yunfeng Capital and Tencent, according to a statement from Momenta. The rating was not disclosed.
The four-year-old company, headed by Cao Xudong, a former Microsoft executive, tests autonomous cars in Beijing and China’s eastern city of Suzhou and has a research center in Stuttgart, Germany.
Momenta is working with automakers to develop production vehicles with self-driving capabilities to collect real-time data for the fully autonomous driving technologies for future products. Data is an important part of the self-driving industry, which enables companies to improve their technologies in different environments.
Momenta will expand its workforce and collect more data to improve future technologies.
Toyota partnered with Momenta last year to develop an HD mapping platform for self-driving vehicles in China that would allow these vehicles to locate themselves.
SAIC Motor, based in Shanghai, is China’s largest automaker and has partnerships with Volkswagen AG and General Motors Co. On Thursday, the company announced that it would partner with US lidar maker Luminar Technologies to develop self-driving vehicles.
Automakers and tech companies are investing billions of dollars in autonomous driving to take early leadership roles in the future of road travel, although some industry insiders say it will take time for the public to have their full confidence in these vehicles.
Reporting by Yilei Sun and Tony Munroe; Editing by Shri Navaratnam
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