Chinese consumers may start receiving delivery parcels from robots sooner than expected.
WeRide, a China-based autonomous driving startup that’s backed by Japan’s Nissan, has said unveiled a fully self-driving urban logistics vans – dubbed the Robovan – which it will make with carmaker JMC and delivery firm ZTO Express.
The company plans to test the vehicles on roads around Guangzhou airport in southern Guangdong province.
Reports said the Robovans will be based on JMC’s battery electric vehicle model and will feature WeRide’s full-stack software and hardware autonomous driving (AD) solutions.
Level 4 Autonomy
The Guangzhou-based startup, led by founder Tony Han, is pursuing what is known in the auto industry as a level 4 autonomous standard, in which the vehicle can handle all aspects of driving in most circumstances with no human intervention.
WeRide is testing autonomous passenger cars and mini-buses.
WeRide said in a statement that it would jointly develop self-driving vans with JMC, in which Ford Motor has a stake, and ZTO.
Automakers and technology firms are investing billions of dollars in autonomous driving, aiming to take an early lead in what many consider the future of mobility.
According to TechCrunch, WeRide was valued at $3.3 billion after recently obtaining $600 million in two capital-raising efforts.
- Reuters and Mark McCord
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