Chinese self-driving startup is on track
A CHINESE STARTUP AIMING TO CREATE A nationwide freight network of self-driving trucks, says it has achieved two milestones – raising $US100million backing and carrying out successful semi-autonomous trials.
Inceptio Technology tested its autonomous driving operations in association with Dongfeng Trucks – its systems monitoring the surrounding environment and making “some decisions”… but with a human driver “still required.”
It terms the trials “a key milestone” and “a solid step” towards volume production of Level 3 (semi-autonomous) trucks, which it intends to start manufacturing by the end of 2021.
It has an end-to-end business model, which sees it planning to begin operating a trucking network using its self-driving technology in 2022.
Inceptio CFO Jielong Zhang says the company is on schedule with its plans, “despite unprecedented difficulties” due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The world is experiencing changes brought on by disruptive technology in the scale never seen before, whilst the world is also facing challenges on multiple fronts.”
Last year it added an R&D centre in California to its Chinese operations and began joint development projects with a number of Chinese truckmakers – Inceptio developing a full suite of autonomous software and the onboard computing platform, while the OEMs focused on engineering the platform for its self-driving system.
The testing of the Inceptio/Dongfeng truck began in March this year and the truckmaker’s deputy GM Wei Wang says the JV will “provide highly reliable and efficient smart logistics solutions to our customers.”
Inceptio founder and CEO Julian Ma says the company will “continue to pursue relentlessly the integration and innovation in autonomous driving and automotive engineering.
“We are confident to be the first to mass-produce autonomous trucks and commercialise the autonomous driving technologies in China.”
An Inceptio/Dongfeng tractor unit has successfully completed trials, running semi-autonomously.....with a driver “still required”