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Xiaomi reportedly acquires self-driving firm to accelerate car-making efforts


Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi recently acquired local self-driving technology company DeepMotion, which will have a team of up to 20 people joining it, auto industry-focused WeChat account Auto-Bit reported Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.

This will help Xiaomi supplement its lineup of team leaders for various modules of self-driving technology, potentially laying the foundation for the development of self-driving technology for Xiaomi cars, the report said.

DeepMotion was founded in July 2017 and is seen as a company in the field of high precision mapping and positioning technology.

Its co-founder and CEO Cai Rui, CTO Li Zhiwei, Chief Scientist Yang Kuiyuan and R&D Director Zhang Chi have all worked at Microsoft Research Asia.

In 2018, Cai said in a media interview that DeepMotion used a vision-based multi-sensor fusion strategy.

At that time, its high-precision positioning technology could already achieve a positioning accuracy of 30 – 40cm front-to-back and 10 – 20cm left-to-right.

In terms of technology route, DeepMotion takes high precision map as the core, and integrates perception, positioning and composition modules at the algorithm level.

DeepMotion offers a full stack of autonomous driving solutions, including technologies such as forward/round/perimeter vision perception systems and autonomous valet parking AVP solutions.

DeepMotion’s strong algorithmic capabilities will complement Xiaomi’s engineering capabilities and commercialization, Auto-Bit said, citing a source close to the acquisition.

If the DeepMotion team is successfully integrated with the Xiaomi self-driving team, it is basically inferred that Xiaomi self-driving will use a vision-based solution, the report said.

DeepMotion’s last public round of funding was a Series A round that closed in March 2018 for tens of millions of dollars. It is seeking funding in early 2020 at an expected valuation of $200 million.

Xiaomi’s DeepMotion acquisition could be valued at the RMB 1 billion level, the report said.

This article was first published by Phate Zhang on CnEVPost, a website focusing on new energy vehicle news from China.

CnEVPost is a website focused on the coverage of the new energy vehicle industry in China. As with our original intent for CnTechPost, there are a lot of interesting things happening in the Chinese EV industry every day, but they are not covered by the mainstream English language media. We're here to keep track of what's happening in the Chinese EV industry and strive to be the first to publish what we see in English.