Home > Auto > News > Phone maker Xiaomi propels EV ambitions; to buy self-driving tech startup
An electric car is seen plugged in at a charging point for electric vehicles. (File photo used for representational purpose only) (REUTERS)
An electric car is seen plugged in at a charging point for electric vehicles. (File photo used for representational purpose only) (REUTERS)

Phone maker Xiaomi propels EV ambitions; to buy self-driving tech startup

  • Xiaomi has already pledged an initial investment of $10 billion over the next decade in the field of electric vehicles.

  • The smartphone maker has started a hiring spree of 500 engineers for the EV project.

Looking to go beyond the realm of smartphones and making the most of the electric vehicle era, phone maker Xiaomi has announced that it will acquire autonomous driving technology startup Deepmotion for about $77.4 million. With this deal, the Chinese company hopes to push forward with its ambitions to offer autonomous electric vehicles in the market.

Xiaomi intends to develop Level 4 self-driving technology for its electric offerings.

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Acquisition of Deepmotion, which develops driver assistance software, will speed up the time to market for the company's product. “Through this acquisition, we hope to shorten the time to market for our product," Xiaomi President Wang Xiang was quoted as saying. 

(Also read | From smartphones to smart cars, five things to know about Xiaomi's EV push)

Xiaomi's Co-founder and CEO Lei Jun is personally leading the project to make electric vehicles and the company has already pledged an initial investment of $10 billion over the next decade in the field. Acquisition of Deepmotion is the latest investment in a series of moves planned by the electronics company. 

Apart from this, the phone maker has started a hiring spree of 500 engineers for the EV project and has connected with multiple automakers and local authorities for potential partnerships. A Reuters report had earlier stated that the Chinese company has plans to build electric vehicles using one of Great Wall Motor's factories.

(Also read | Oppo may follow Xiaomi, Huawei's footsteps to build its own self-driving car)

The company is also planning to invest in Black Sesame Technologies, a startup that develops artificial intelligence chips and systems for cars. Modern mobility, especially EVs, are becoming quite technologically advanced with a mile long list of gadgets, features and drive assistance systems. Thus, Xiaomi's acquisitions plans are steps in the right direction.

But Xiaomi is not the only phone maker that has set its eyes on the self-driving or electric vehicle market. Reports of others like Huawei, Oppo and Apple working on their individual cars have also surfaced.

(with inputs from Bloomberg)
 

  • First Published Date : 26 Aug 2021, 09:58 AM IST