China’s new energy vehicle market remains strong despite the relatively slow sales performance in July. With about 805,000 NEVs made and 780,000 sold in China in the past month, the market jumped 30.6 and 31.6 per cent, year on year. That’s a 32.7-per-cent share of the country’s total auto sales last month.
Hesai‘s Q2 2023 revenue reached C¥440.3m (US $60.7m), and they shipped 52,106 lidar units in that period—of which 45,694 units for ADAS. Total ADAS lidar shipments in H1-2023: 73,889 units, more than the whole-year 2022 figure. Hesai has achieved a second consecutive quarter of positive operating cash flow around C¥58.3m (US$8m).
Hesaialso announced their official integration into the Nvidia Omniverse ecosystem. This allows automotive manufacturers and autonomous driving companies to directly access Hesai’s high-precision lidar models via Nvidia Drive Sim. They can now obtain physically realistic and highly-simulated sensor data in digital twin environments for research, testing, and validation purposes. DriveWorks SDK offers a comprehensive suite of modules, developer tools, and reference application libraries, serving as the foundation for software development in AVs.
Innoviz Technologies has announced collaboration with BMW Group to develop B-samples of a new lidar platform aimed at the next generation of BMW’s automated vehicles. The two companies have started a first phase to develop a lidar-based Minimal Risk Maneuver (MRM) system.
Geely and Baidu have launched a premium intelligent automotive technology brand, Ji Yue, and launched at top-of-the-line model first. It’s called the 01, will be manufactured by Geely, and is set to launch by the end of this year. Baidu will provide smart cockpit expertise and autonomous driving and artificial intelligence technologies. Ji Yue will also build and develop a charging network in China to meet consumer demand. Previously, Geely co-funded the EV joint venture Jidu with Baidu. In June 2022, the brand launched a robot concept car, the first vehicle co-developed by the companies.
Pony.ai, Toyota Motor China, and GAC Toyota Motor have established a joint venture to support future mass production and large-scale deployment of autonomous driving taxis (robotaxis). The JV plans for an investment exceeding C¥1bn, and will provide a platform of Toyota’s pure electric vehicles, produced by GAC Toyota, for Robotaxi use. These vehicles will be equipped with Toyota’s redundant systems capable of fully autonomous driving and integrated with Pony.ai’s autonomous driving system.
Mercedes-Benz has unveiled their L4 Intelligent Park Pilot technology, introducing driverless parking capabilities for the EQE Saloon. This advanced parking feature is operational at Stuttgart Airport’s P6 parking garage. This feature has been extended to already-delivered EQS and S-Class models, and there are plans to include it in the upcoming E-Class.
Polestar will introduce Mobileye‘s Chauffeur™ AV platform-driven autonomous driving technology into the Polestar 4. The 4, equipped with Mobileye SuperVision, is slated for global release in 2024. The vehicle has integrated the Mobileye SuperVision-based advanced driver assistance system from its inception, laying a robust foundation for the progressive evolution of autonomous driving technology within the Polestar 4, when adding additional sensors such as radars and lidar. This will allow Polestar models featuring the Chauffeur system to achieve hands-free and eyes-off autonomous driving capabilities on highways.
Aurora Innovation expects to raise $820m to continue developing and commercializing their autonomous trucks. Aurora plans to use their latest funding to continue developing their self-driving technology toward commercialization. CEO and cofounder Chris Urmson says the new funding “gives us the runway through next year’s expected commercial launch and well into 2025”. Aurora has partnered with Volvo Trucks, Paccar, and Toyota, as well as hardware-as-a-service provider Continental, Urmson said; he cited FedEx, Uber Freight, Werner, Schneider, and Hirschbach are pilot customers.
XPeng and DiDi jointly announced a strategic partnership in smart electric vehicles and related technologies—centered around an A-segment smart electric vehicle, codenamed ‘Mona’, which will debut as XPeng’s flagship product under a new brand, with production planned for 2024. Both companies stand to explore opportunities across various domains, including XPeng’s vehicle operations on DiDi’s platform, brand marketing, financial insurance services, charging infrastructure development, and Robotaxi deployment.
VW‘s recent JV with Xpeng to build new EVs sets an example for future collaboration between Western and Chinese automakers. The partnership will involve VW sharing their MEB electrical vehicle platform with Xpeng, who will contribute their expertise in autonomous driving and electric motor systems.
Startup Altos Radar has raised US $3.5m during a seed funding round. The funding round will enable Altos to mass produce and market their latest 4D imaging radar, the V1. It provides a point cloud with up to 3,000 points per frame at 10 fps, and has a detection capacity of 500 m for cars and 180 m for pedestrians. Altos calls it the world’s first production-ready non-FPGA-based, 4-chip cascaded (12TX, 16RX) 4D imaging radar.