Chinese automated driving startup WeRide reached an agreement on October 25 with HTWO, a hydrogen fuel cell system brand under Hyundai Motor, and Guangzhou Hengyun Enterprises Holding to cooperate in the field of hydrogen-powered unmanned driving.
According to the agreement, the three parties will jointly build the world’s first demonstration zone for unmanned hydrogen vehicles in Guangzhou. WeRide will also participate in building the world’s first hydrogen-powered unmanned sanitation car, which will be put into use in the demonstration area to carry out operations of hydrogen-powered intelligent sanitation services.
Among the partners, Hyundai Motor Group has a 24-year history in the hydrogen fuel cell sector, and its hydrogen fuel SUV model NEXO has sold more than 30,000 units worldwide as of September 2022, making it the highest-selling hydrogen fuel cell model in the world. Hengyun Group is a state-owned energy enterprise with abundant resources. This cooperation will serve to promote the development of the hydrogen energy industry.
WeRide was founded in 2017 and is headquartered in Guangzhou. Its products include robotaxis, mini robobuses, robovans, robo street sweepers, advanced driving solutions and WeRide One, a general technology platform for autonomous driving. Since its establishment, WeRide has completed seven rounds of financing, with Sinovation Ventures, NVIDIA and SenseTime as its investors. The firm’s post-investment valuation is nearly $4.4 billion.
The company is committed to developing safe and reliable unmanned driving technology, and it has carried out R&D, testing and operations of automated driving in 25 cities around the world. Its automated driving technology has been verified through over 11 million km of distance covered on public roads.
WeRide is also constantly promoting the mass production and commercialization automated driving. In May this year, it announced that it had obtained strategic investment from Bosch, an automotive technology and service provider. The two sides signed a strategic cooperation agreement, which will accelerate the process of developing Bosch China’s advanced driving solution, moving SAE level 2-3 autonomous driving towards mass production.