On Wednesday, L4 autonomous driving company WeRide announced the completion of its Series B1 funding with a strategic investment of $200 million from Yutong Group.
After receiving the fresh capital, WeRide will join hands with Yutong to drive the application of autonomous driving technology in minibuses, city buses, and others, exploring smart mobility and promoting the commercial use of fully driverless vehicles.
As one of China’s leading commercial vehicle manufacturers, Yutong specializes in buses and construction machinery. When it comes to large and medium-sized buses, its sales volume places it among the biggest global players in its field.
This strategic investment will help Yutong advance WeRide’s AI capability and expedite the commercialization of autonomous driving technology.
“This new round of funding has provided a strong impetus for continuing our innovations, and more importantly, secured us another vital strategic investor,” said Tony Han, CEO and Co-founder of WeRide. “WeRide and Yutong Group will engage in extensive cooperation in multiple key domains, such as R&D, vehicle platforms and mobility services, and we will draw on each other’s strengths to create a brand new urban mobility and transportation system.”
As of now, the two companies have already developed China’s first fully driverless mini robobus, created for open road operation in cities.
The mini robot is a front-loaded, mass-produced model with no steering wheel, accelerator or brakes. Equipped with WeRide’s full-stack software and hardware solutions, the Robobus is capable of dealing with complex urban traffic conditions safely and efficiently.
WeRide has also alliances with major original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to roll out a publicly accessible robotaxi service. In its first year of operation, 60,000 users went on a total of 147,128 rides.
WeRide obtained China’s first driverless testing permit in July 2020.