(Yicai Global) Sept. 26 -- Chinese autonomous vehicle developer Beijing Jingchi Technology Co. has secured USD52 million in pre-A financing to help expand its global research and development team and advance its unmanned vehicle fleet.
Qiming Venture Partners led the round with support from Nvidia Corp.'s [NASDAQ:NVDA] GPU ventures program and other institutional and individual investors. The funding will enable Jingchi Technology to quickly expand its team and expand its fourth-stage unmanned vehicle fleet in China by year-end, NetEase Technology reported today.
Jingchi will also utilize Nvidia DRIVE PX, an artificial intelligence computing platform for cars, to help improve security in its autonomous vehicles.
The company was set up in April after scoring USD30 million from angel investors that month. It completed its first unmanned driving test in a closed site in less than five weeks and obtained a license to test autonomous vehicles in California in June. Jingchi also signed an agreement with China's Anhui province in August, allowing it to test 50 driverless cars in the city by as early as the end of the year. The firm plans to roll out thousands of vehicles sporting Nvidia DRIVE PX, dubbed 'robot taxis,' in Anqing, a city in Anhui province, next year.
Jingchi Technology hopes to introduce autonomous cars to Chinese cities by 2020, and become one of the world's first businesses to commercialize self-driving technology on a massive scale, said Wang Jin, chief executive. Wang was a senior vice president at tech giant Baidu Inc. [NASDAQ:BIDU], he chaired its technical strategy committee and was general manager of its autonomous driving unit.