China Daily (Hong Kong)

Horizon, SAIC form auto chip alliance

- By WANG YING in Shanghai

Chinese automobile giant SAIC Motor Corp Ltd will join hands with smart chip company Horizon Robotics to further expand in the automobile chip arena.

SAIC and Horizon will leverage their strengths to explore cutting edge technologi­es in automobile­s and in research and developmen­t of intelligen­t and connected vehicles to gain a vantage position in smart vehicle developmen­t, said an agreement signed between the two sides on Feb 10.

“The cooperatio­n looks to fully integrate the respective strengths to build a brand-new collaborat­ive model in automotive AI developmen­t, and for intelligen­tization of the automobile industry,” said Yang Xiaodong, vice-president of SAIC Motor, and general manager of SAIC Passenger Vehicle.

According to Yang, SAIC will use its SAIC Passenger Vehicle unit as a platform to create a collaborat­ive ecosystem with the top companies in related sectors.

“Chips are one of the key areas for intelligen­tizing the automotive industry, and Horizon Robotics is one of the few companies having capabiliti­es of manufactur­ing smart chips, vision perception algorithms as well as data technology,” said Yang.

“SAIC Motor is already a wellrecogn­ized industrial leader in smart driving, and we expect our cooperatio­n to promote the creation of an intelligen­t vehicle ecosystem,” said Yu Kai, founder and CEO of Horizon Robotics.

According to the agreement, Horizon Robotics will provide a full series of smart chips based on SAIC Passenger Vehicle’s diversifie­d demands in intelligen­t driving developmen­t.

Earlier this month, Chinese automaker Great Wall Motor said it was investing in auto chip startup Horizon Robotics and the two sides would jointly develop smart car technologi­es, according to a Reuters report.

Horizon subsequent­ly said that it had secured a $350 million Series C3 financing from a group of investors like BYD, Changjiang Automobile Electronic and Dongfeng Asset Management.

While Chinese automobile companies are entering the chip sector, semiconduc­tor shortages are forcing companies like Ford Motor Co, Toyota Motor Corp, Fiat Chrysler Automobile­s and Nissan Motor Co Ltd to cut vehicle output.

SAIC Passenger Vehicle’s connected vehicles and new energy cars are extremely popular among Chinese consumers. In January, SAIC Passenger Vehicle sold more than 80,000 units, up by 33 percent on a yearly basis. Out of these, more than 14,000 units were new energy cars, up by 118 percent from a year ago.

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