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New JV Between China's BYD And Startup Momenta For Autonomous Driving Technology

New JV Between China's BYD And Startup Momenta For Autonomous Driving Technology
Deployment of autonomous driving capabilities across certain BYD car model lines is to be implemented through a joint venture between China's BYD and autonomous driving startup Momenta. The value of the new partnership is 100 million yuan or $15.7 million, according to a Momenta statement and reports quoting people with knowledge of the matter.
The name of the new venture is DiPi Intelligent Mobility Co and located in Shenzhen, China. This new entity brings together the capabilities of BYD as an automaker and the experience of Momenta in the area of intelligent driving, said the statement from the autonomous driving startup.
According to reports, 60 of the 100 million yuan in the venture is to be invested by BYD while the rest of the money is to be invested by Beijing-based Momenta.
Deployment of “Level 2 plus” autonomous driving capability in some of the vehicle model lines will be part of the initial scope of the new partnership, said reports.
The technology of the so-called Level 2 semi-autonomous driving capability comprises technologies that are capable of taking care of almost all aspects of driving, which range from steering a car to accelerating and braking the vehicle. However, at this level of autonomous driving, a driver has to be present in the driver’s seat and be alert and ready to intervene if required.
A BYD spokesperson referred to Momenta's press release when the media asked about the new partnership. No additional comments were made by BYD.
With the race of development of autonomous vehicles accelerating, automakers are partnering with and technology firms working in the autonomous driving arena and consequently and making investments to the tune of billions of dollars in the development of autonomous driving. The aim of such partnerships and investments is to take an early lead in what many consider the future of mobility.
As a part of a trial run, autonomous robotaxi test rides to the public in a Shanghai district in China were starting to be offered earlier this month by Momenta and SAIC Mobility, a division of Chinese automaker SAIC Motor.
Another example of companies from different sectors getting together to offer autonomous vehicles is that of Chinese search engine giant Baidu Inc and self-driving startup which jointly was granted permission to roll out paid driverless robotaxi services in China's capital Beijing in November this year.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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