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JingChi raises $52M in Pre-A round to fuel growth and development of autonomous fleets for US and China; Qiming Venture, NVIDIA invest

28 September 2017

JingChi Inc. has completed a combined $52-million pre-A investment round from lead investor Qiming Venture, strategic investor NVIDIA GPU Ventures, and a consortium of other investors. The investment allows JingChi rapidly to expand its research and development teams globally, and ramp up deployment of a fully Level 4 autonomous driving test fleet in China by the end of 2017. Duane Kuang, Founding Partner at Qiming, will join JingChi’s board of directors.

JingChi was founded in early April 2017 and has already broken several records in its brief autonomous driving history. In less than five weeks, the company successfully completed autonomous driving tests in a closed venue. On 18 June, JingChi became the 34th company to obtain a license for testing autonomous vehicles on California’s public roads. On 24 June, JingChi completed its first autonomous mode testing on public roads in Sunnyvale, California—81 days after JingChi started operations.

On 15 August 2017, JingChi signed a comprehensive agreement with Anqing City, China, allowing JingChi to deploy a fleet of 50 autonomous test vehicles with initial operations slated to launch as early as the end of 2017. The company plans to deploy hundreds of autonomous vehicles powered by NVIDIA DRIVE PX in 2018 to provide a “Robotaxi” ride-hailing service in Anqing City.

We are creating an innovative mobility ecosystem to transform every single trip to be safer, more efficient, more cost-effective and more leisurely. 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. With this investment, it makes our dream possible.

—Jing Wang, founder and CEO of JingChi

The NVIDIA DRIVE PX AI platform is crucial to developing and deploying deep learning capabilities for JingChi and most other autonomous vehicle projects around the world. NVIDIA offers significant computational advantages that will boost in-vehicle computation abilities, making JingChi’s autonomous vehicles safer and more reliable. JingChi is eager to work with NVIDIA to maximize the benefits of DRIVE PX to realize its vision of bringing autonomous ride-hailing to China. With NVIDIA’s partnership and investment, JingChi can further accelerate autonomous vehicle technology development.

—Tony Han, co-founder and CTO of JingChi

JingChi is a rapidly growing autonomous driving company, and has more than 50 full time employees. More than 80% of employees are engineers and most have PhD degrees from top ranking universities including CMU, UIUC, Stanford, UC Berkeley, USC, etc. The core technical team has decades of combined experience working on a variety of autonomous driving projects for multiple companies such as Baidu, Ucar, Didi, Uber, and Tesla.

JingChi is committed to using deep learning to deliver fully autonomous vehicles that operate without human intervention by using a combination of LiDAR, cameras, and radar sensors along with artificial intelligence to perceive the driving environment and navigate the quickest and safest path to the final destination.

September 28, 2017 in AI, Autonomous driving | Permalink | Comments (0)

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