The venture capital arm of Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi has become the lead investor in a Chinese start-up that will specialize in Level 4 autonomous driving technology for future transportation services in the country.
The WeRide.ai investment is the first investment from the capital firm, called Alliance Ventures, in China.
WeRide.ai plans to deploy a fleet of 500 autonomous vehicles in 2019 and will accumulate 5 million km of driving in the Guangzhou and Anqing provinces. To date, the company has driven 60,000 km and served more than 3,000 passengers worldwide.
In addition to the financial support, Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi will work with WeRide.ai through strategic cooperation in specific areas, the company said.
“Autonomous systems are a key priority of the Alliance as we develop new mobility services,” said François Dossa, Alliance global vice president of ventures and open innovation. “Our member companies are committed to introducing such technologies in key markets such as China, so we are delighted to be supporting WeRide.ai as it pioneers such full autonomous systems for the demanding Chinese market-place.”