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Chinese autonomous driving startup raises $157 million from Hillhouse, Meituan

By Reuters

<div> <p><span class="caps">SHANGHAI</span> – Haomo.AI, a Chinese autonomous driving startup controlled by Great Wall Motor’s Chairman Wei Jianjun, has raised nearly 1 billion yuan ($157 million) in a funding round as investors increase bets on smart car technologies. </p> <p>Haomo will use the funds raised from investors – such as Hillhouse Capital’s early-stage investment unit GL Ventures, Meituan, Qualcomm Ventures and others – to build its talent pool and enhance its R&D capability, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.</p> <p>The company did not provide details on valuation. </p> <p>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.</p> <p>General Motors Co announced in September that it would invest $300 million in Chinese autonomous driving startup Momenta to develop self-driving technologies for future models in China, its first such tie-up in the world’s No.1 car market.</p> <p>Other global automakers also have tie-ups with Chinese firms in the nascent technology. Toyota Motor is testing vehicles with Pony.ai, Nissan Motor works with WeRide, while Honda Motor has teamed up with AutoX.</p> <p>Haomo, formerly known as the intelligent driving department of Great Wall Motor, said it expected to make its Level 2 semi-autonomous driving system, which requires supervision by a human driver, available in 34 vehicle models by the end of 2022.</p> <p>The system is currently available in five Great Wall Motor vehicle models. </p> <p>Haomo also produces Level 4 autonomous driving logistics vehicles that can handle all aspects of driving in most circumstances with no human intervention to deliver groceries and parcels with partners including Meituan.</p> <p>($1 = 6.3716 Chinese yuan)</p> <p/> </div>