WeRide receives strategic investment from GAC Group to develop purpose-built Robotaxis for large-scale operation

( 12/14/2021 ) WeRide, the global leading Level 4 autonomous driving technology company, has received a strategic investment from China’s major automaker Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC Group). The investment deepens WeRide and GAC’s strategic partnership in the joint development and manufacturing of purpose-built Robotaxis. The two parties plan to build a fleet of tens of thousands of Robotaxis in the coming years that will provide safe, affordable, and green autonomous driving mobility services to the public.

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WeRide receives strategic investment from GAC Group to develop purpose-built Robotaxis for large-scale operation

WeRide and GAC will build a comprehensive framework for the development of Robotaxis covering technology, products, and commercialization. WeRide is well-positioned to set Robotaxi industry benchmark with its leading AD technology and more than two years’ experience operating its Robotaxi service to the public. Meanwhile, GAC will provide vehicle platform with redundancy systems that is well suited for WeRide’s L4 autonomous driving to achieve safe and reliable operations.

The new Robotaxi model jointly developed by the two companies will be based on GAC’s X-soul, the automaker’s newly launched electronic and electrical architecture. X-Soul uses an innovative modular design, which can fully meet WeRide’s customization requirements for the next generation Robotaxi.

Besides safety and reliability, WeRide and GAC will also focus on manufacturing capacity and cost control. The efficient and flexible production lines and supply chain from GAC will realize the vision of mass-produced, lower-cost WeRide Robotaxis.

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WeRide receives strategic investment from GAC Group to develop purpose-built Robotaxis for large-scale operation

“GAC has been at the forefront of the industry in intelligent manufacturing and autonomous driving through independent R&D and cooperation. WeRide has been well recognized in AD industry for its edge in technology and especially in Robotaxi operations. We are very pleased to take another big step forward with WeRide in developing vanguard L4 autonomous driving vehicles.” Said Qinghong Zeng, Chairman of GAC Group.

Tony Han, Founder and CEO of WeRide, said: “WeRide keeps advancing our technology and operation of Robotaxis through strategic cooperation with automakers. With GAC’s automobile manufacturing capability and its scalable autonomous vehicle platform with redundancy systems, the cooperation will enable us to develop the best self-driving vehicles. Together we will make breakthroughs in the mass production of purpose-built L4 self-driving vehicles and lead the development of Robotaxis.”

WeRide has always been an innovative pioneer in the Robotaxi industry. In 2018, WeRide and GAC launched China’s first L4 Robotaxi. In November 2019, WeRide kickstarted China’s first publicly accessible Robotaxi service in Guangzhou, covering an area of more than 144 square kilometers. The operation has been providing safe mobility services for more than two years. Last month, WeRide announced strategic cooperation with ONTIME, a mobility service platform of GAC, and jointly offered the public trial ride of its newly developed Robotaxis during Guangzhou Auto Show.

Moving on, with dedicated production lines, vehicle platforms with complete safety redundancies, advanced L4 AD technology and years-long operating experience, WeRide and GAC will build a Robotaxi fleet that meet the needs of large-scale operations, bringing safe, affordable, and green self-driving mobility services to more people.

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WeRide receives strategic investment from GAC Group to develop purpose-built Robotaxis for large-scale operation

About WeRide

WeRide is a global leading company that develops Level 4 autonomous driving technologies, bringing smart cities with new products, new business models and new experiences.

WeRide has received strategic investments from top-tier global automakers. It is the first startup in the world to hold driverless test permits in both China and the US.

Through strategic alliances with car makers, mobility and logistics service platforms, WeRide offers an all-rounded product mix of Robotaxi, Mini Robobus and Robovan to provide multiple services including online ride-hailing, on-demand transport and urban logistics.

WeRide launched China’s first Robotaxi service, completely open to the public, in November 2019, in Guangzhou, China, covering an area of 144 square kilometers. WeRide has also conducted commercial pilot operations and fully driverless testing for Mini Robobus and Robovan.

Established in 2017, WeRide is headquartered in Guangzhou, China, and maintains R&D and operation centers in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Nanjing, Wuhan, Zhengzhou and Anqing, as well as San Jose in the US. It employs a highly skilled team of over 800 employees around the globe and has extensive domestic and international experience in R&D, business development and operations.

For more information, please visit website: http://www.weride.ai; Medium: https://werideai.medium.com/; twitter/LinkedIn: WeRide.ai; YouTube: WeRide Autonomous Driving.

About GAC Group

Guangzhou Automobile Group Co., Ltd (GAC) was incorporated in June 2005, which is formerly known as Guangzhou Automobile Group Ltd. It is the first Chinese large automobile group listed in both Hong Kong and Shanghai Stock Exchanges. With its business scope covering R&D, automobile manufacturing, parts& components, auto trade, auto finance and mobility service etc., it is also one of the automobile groups with the most complete industrial chain layout in China. It ranked the 176th among Fortune Global 500 in 2021.

At present, there are a dozen of well-known enterprises and R&D organizations affiliated to GAC, including GAC Honda, GAC Toyota, GAC Motor, GAC AION, GAC R&D Center, GAC FCA and GAC Mitsubishi. In 2020, both its production and sales amounted to over 2 million vehicles, with consolidated business revenue of 395.5 billion RMB, a YoY growth of 5.87%, and net profit after extraordinary gains and losses attributable to shareholders amounted to 4.8 billion RMB, a YoY growth of 25.17%.

Based on GAC R&D Center, GAC adheres to independent research and development. The accumulative patent application exceeds 8400 cases, among which almost 3000 are invention patents, ranking the top among Chinese automobile companies. It focuses on science and technological innovation and has mastered core technologies of NEVs including battery, motor and electronic control.

As a forerunner in autonomous driving field, GAC is also taking the lead in intelligent and connected technological R&D area. It sticks to independent innovation and open cooperation. On the one hand, it strengthens the establishment of independent innovation and core capability system centering on the new trend of automobile development such as software defined vehicle and scenario-oriented. On the other hand, it realizes safe and controllable key technology through open cooperation. GAC works together with partners such as WeRide to develop market-oriented autonomous driving products and promotes the large scale and market application of L4 autonomous driving products.