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Xiaomi says DeepMotion acquisition aims to shorten time for its self-driving cars to hit market

Xiaomi’s acquisition of self-driving technology company DeepMotion aims to shorten the time it takes to bring its self-driving cars to market, Xiaomi President and CFO Wang Xiang said Wednesday.

The Chinese smartphone giant announced on August 25 that it had acquired DeepMotion for about $77.37 million. Wang explained the purpose of the acquisition during a conference call after Xiaomi announced its second-quarter financial results.

“This team is very good, and with our own AI technology accumulation, I think this acquisition will help Xiaomi’s progress in smart cars, especially in the area of smart driving technology,” Wang said.

Xiaomi has started in-depth research and development of the most important core technologies for smart electric vehicles since it announced its entry into the smart car space a few months ago, he said.

“Driverless technology is actually at the heart of smart electric vehicles. We are determined to be deeply involved and hope to shorten the time to market for our self-driving cars with this acquisition,” Wang stated.

DeepMotion was founded in July 2017 and is considered 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 all worked at Microsoft Research Asia.

In terms of technology path, DeepMotion is centered on high precision mapping and integration of perception, localization and composition modules at the algorithm level.

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

Auto-Bit, a WeChat account that follows the automotive industry, reported early last month that Xiaomi acquired DeepMotion, which will have a team of up to 20+ people joining Xiaomi.

This would help Xiaomi initially complement its lineup of team leaders for various modules of self-driving technology and could lay the foundation for the development of self-driving technology for Xiaomi cars, the report said.

If the DeepMotion team and the Xiaomi self-driving team integrate smoothly, it can be basically inferred that Xiaomi self-driving will adopt 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 reported on Wednesday that it had total revenue of RMB 87.79 billion ($13.56 billion) for the second quarter ended June 30, 2021, up 64 percent year-over-year. And its net income was RMB 8.27 billion, up 83.9 percent year-over-year.

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.