In a groundbreaking move to further its reach in the autonomous driving industry, DeepRoute.ai, a prominent robotaxi startup headquartered in Shenzhen, has unveiled plans to establish an operations center in Germany by 2024. The company’s announcement, made at the prestigious International Motor Show Germany in Munich this week, marks a significant stride towards global expansion.
DeepRoute.ai, armed with an impressive war chest of over $350 million in funding and boasting a workforce of more than 500 employees worldwide, is set to tap into the European market, targeting collaboration with some of the world’s largest automakers.
The strategic endeavor of the robotaxi startup to establish a physical presence in Germany mirrors the trend among several Chinese mobility pioneers seeking to solidify their footprint in Europe through the establishment of physical offices. DeepRoute.ai’s ambitious venture is underpinned by a combination of factors, including access to competitively priced Chinese lidar suppliers and the utilization of Nvidia’s Drive Orin system-on-a-chip, integrated with its Drive 3.0 solution. This cutting-edge autonomous driving system operates independently of high-definition maps and boasts innovative features such as valet park assist.
However, DeepRoute.ai has maintained a shroud of secrecy surrounding the specific functions and capabilities of its forthcoming “operations center.” Furthermore, the company has yet to reveal the host city for this vital hub.
In contrast, one of DeepRoute.ai’s competitors, Momenta, an electric vehicle startup hailing from Suzhou, took a proactive step by establishing an office in Stuttgart two years ago. This strategic move could be attributed to its association with investor Mercedes-Benz and its relationships with other European original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
Nio, another prominent Chinese electric vehicle startup with a strong focus on intelligent driving support systems, has already established its presence in Germany. Nio boasts a 1,500-square-meter innovation center in Berlin and a design facility in Munich, reflecting China’s determination to cultivate ties with European automakers.
DeepRoute.ai, renowned for its robotaxi services that successfully completed over 800,000 rides in major Chinese cities by the end of 2020, is now shifting its attention towards mass production and establishing partnerships with OEM customers. A robust presence in Germany is poised to open doors for the robotaxi startup, fostering enhanced collaboration and stronger relationships with Europe’s automotive giants.
This impending expansion into Europe represents another audacious move by a Chinese mobility startup in the ever-evolving landscape of autonomous driving. As various entities seize opportunities in China’s burgeoning driverless technology market, it remains to be seen whether other robotaxi companies will emulate DeepRoute.ai’s bold stride into Germany.
DeepRoute.ai’s journey into the heart of Europe is a testament to the relentless pursuit of innovation in the autonomous driving sector. With its strong financial backing and technological prowess, the company is poised to make a lasting impact on the global automotive landscape, and the world will be watching closely as it ventures into the automotive heartland of Germany.