Horizon Robotics, a manufacturer of in-vehicle smart chips, announced on September 26 that it has received strategic investment from Chery Automobile, with funds to be used primarily for the development and mass production of chips. At the same time, the two sides will officially open up new collaboration in the field of advanced assisted driving based on their current cooperation in the field of vehicular intelligent interaction.
According to the plan, Chery’s high-end intelligent electric platform E0X will use Horizon Robotics’ Journey 3 chip to build the computing cornerstone. At least five intelligent models for the L2+ intelligent driving class and above are planned for the platform. The first model, Chery E03, will be released in 2023, equipped with high-speed and urban navigation on pilot (NOP). In addition, a mass-production model adapting an advanced driver-assistance system based on Journey 2 chips will be launched in 2022.
Chery’s performance was outstanding in August, as it was included on a list of firms with NEV sales exceeding 10,000 units, according to the China Passenger Car Association. The wholesale volume of Chery’s NEVs during the month reached 28,778 units, ranking fifth in China. From January to August, the cumulative sales volume of Chery’s NEVs reached 159,373 units, up 241.2% year on year.
Chery’s sales growth is inseparable from its new energy strategy. On September 16, Chery launched the “Yaoguang 2025” technology strategy covering 13 fields including platform architecture, intelligent driving, an intelligent cloud platform and ecological partners.
In the process, Horizon Robotics has gradually grown into Chery’s partner since establishing cooperation last year, providing key technical support. This year, new models such as the Chery Tiggo 8 Pro and OMODA 5 are equipped with a multi-mode interaction scheme based on Journey 3 chips to realize intelligent cockpit functions.
Since its establishment, Horizon Robotics has received strategic investment from SAIC Motor, GAC Capital, Great Wall Motor, BYD, FAW Group and many other automotive enterprises, as well as Intel, CATL, Luxshare Precision and many other enterprises in the industrial chain. Horizon Robotics has raised more than $3.4 billion, not counting undisclosed amounts, according to Chinese business data platform Qichacha.
For L2-L4 intelligent driving scenarios, Horizon Robotics has launched three products – Journey 2, Journey 3 and Journey 5 – within three years. By the end of 2021, the cumulative shipment of Horizon Robotics’ Journey chips had exceeded 1 million. According to the established plan, Horizon Robotics will launch a more powerful automotive intelligent chip named Journey 6 in 2023, which will use the 7nm process and will have more than 400TOPS of computing power.
With the rise of intelligent vehicles in recent years, intelligent cockpits and autonomous driving systems have an increasing demand for large computing chips. Black Sesame Technologies, a manufacturer of self-driving chips, is also growing fast. Its chief marketing officer, Yang Yuxin, has said that by 2025, domestic chips in key areas will start shipping in bulk, perhaps amounting to hundreds of thousands of pieces. Based on optimistic forecasts, in the autonomous driving chip field, China will have the opportunity to share the market with foreign manufacturers by 2025.