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Nvidia invests in Chinese self-driving vehicle startup
Automotive News China | 2017/10/6

BEIJING - U.S. chipmaker Nvidia Corp. joined an investment consortium that raised $52 million for JingChi, a Chinese startup that plans to deploy a test fleet of self-driving vehicles this year.

The investment will allow JingChi to expand r&d efforts. 

The lead investor, Qiming Venture, is a venture capital firm with offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Suzhou, Hong Kong and Seattle. 

JingChi launched operations in April, and in June it obtained a license to test autonomous vehicles on California roads.

In August, JingChi signed an agreement with the city of Anqing City to deploy a fleet of 50 autonomous test vehicles late this year. In 2018, the company wants to launch a test fleet of several hundred robo-taxis for a ride-hailing service in Anqing.

The robo-taxis will be guided by Nvidia¡¯s Drive PX platform, which it developed for self-driving vehicles.

"We are determined to bring fully autonomous vehicles to China and become one of the first companies that apply autonomous driving technologies at scale in 2020,¡± said Jing Wang, founder and CEO of JingChi.  ¡°With this investment, it makes our dream possible." 

Nvidia, which is based in Sunnyvale, Calif., hopes to be a major player in China. The chipmaker has joined a consortium of 70 companies that are working with Chinese search engine Baidu Inc. to develop self-driving vehicles.

In September, Baidu earmarked 9.8 billion yuan for its Apollo Fund, which will invest in 100 autonomous driving projects over the next three years. 

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