One of the hottest themes in 2023 is the explosive growth of future mobility, and China has anchored itself as a significant market and a hub for automotive innovation worldwide.
With hundreds of companies in the sector jostling for attention, Horizon Robotics made a huge splash when the company announced its partnership with Volkswagen Group in October 2022. Horizon Robotics and Volkswagen’s software company CARIAD plan to establish a joint venture to develop Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) and Autonomous Driving (AD) systems for the Chinese market.
Founded in 2015, Horizon Robotics has already made a name for itself as a leading provider of energy-efficient computing solutions for consumer vehicles in China. The company has established partnerships with over 20 domestic and international car manufacturers in China, powering more than 70 vehicle models with its Journey series computing solutions.
Enhancing life through a “third living space”
Horizon Robotics’ stated mission is to make human life safer and better. Led by a team of experts with extensive experience in the mass production of assisted driving solutions, the company believes that as self-driving functions increasingly liberate drivers from having to focus on the road, vehicles will become a “third living space” beyond home and office.
The company’s founder, Dr. Yu Kai, is a prominent figure in the field of machine learning and a promoter of the application of deep-learning in China in the civil and commercial sectors with the primary focus in the passenger-vehicle industry. In 2015, Dr. Yu and a group of like-minded partners founded Horizon Robotics, with a focus on developing advanced driving assistance solutions, aiming to bring Chinese consumers a safer and more convenient driving and riding experience.
Dr. Yu has previously emphasized that the goal of technology is to empower people, not to increase the power of machines. In actuality, this is central to the company’s philosophy. Just as Apple redefined mobile phone with the iPhone, Telsa and its Autopilot opened up people’s imaginations to the potential of future mobility. With ADAS and AD, people can be freed from the most tedious and hazardous aspects of driving. Horizon Robotics is a strong believer that the purpose of technology in the modern world is to address people’s physical needs so that they can focus on feelings, knowledge, creation and self-actualization.
Well-received by Partners and Consumers
To date, Horizon Robotics has entered into a range of collaborations within China’s automotive industry ecosystem. In 2021, Horizon marked a major market breakthrough by partnering with Li Auto, a leading Chinese new energy vehicle manufacturer, to provide its Journey 3 computing solution for the Li ONE model. Li ONE received overwhelmingly positive feedback from consumers for its advanced and convenient driving assistance features like autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise controlling, and self-parking.
The successful Li Auto collaboration opened the doors to more opportunities. As more Chinese automakers began to embrace advanced assisted driving capabilities, Horizon’s energy-efficient Journey 2, Journey 3, and Journey 5 computing solutions saw outstanding sales. The company’s collaborative, flexible, and open cooperation model and its knowledge of China’s road conditions and local consumers have proved to be major differentiators.
Thanks to the efforts of car manufacturers and partners of the industry chain including Horizon Robotics, Chinese drivers behind the wheels of many car models, such as Roewe’s RX5, Wuling’s Victory Premium, Neta Auto’s NETA U-II, as well as the recently launched Li Auto’s L7 and L8 Pro and Air, are already benefiting from advanced driving assistance features.
In China, For China
The explosive growth of electric vehicles has made China the world’s largest laboratory for the development of smart driving. As a local company in the industry, Horizon Robotics has a deep understanding of Chinese road and traffic conditions, and knows how important it is to cater specifically to Chinese consumers’ driving habits when designing self-driving systems for this huge market.
Its innovative products, close partnerships, and commitment to the Chinese market have helped the company to achieve impressive growth in a short amount of time and position itself as a partner of choice for both domestic and international automakers in the expanding China market.
As the automobile industry undergoes further transformation, Horizon Robotics, in Dr. Yu’s opinion, has a significant role to play in innovation as well as in enhancing drivers’ experience and safety. One thing, however, is certain: with the torrid pace of innovation coming from Horizon and other industry players, the future of driving is going to be unlike anything we’ve seen up to now. And consumers will get the chance to enjoy a completely new kind of driving that is safer, more practical, and more entertaining than anything that has come before.