General Motors announced on Thursday that it will invest $300 million in Momenta, a Chinese autonomous driving start-up, in an effort to accelerate the development of self-driving technology within the Chinese market.
Momenta is one of the few companies in China with a Grade A qualification for electronic navigation maps, a type of map that can collect and produce HD-Map data, and is a key tool in automatic driving technology. In March this year, Momenta announced the completion of a C round of financing totaling $500 million, led by SAIC, Toyota, Bosch, as well as renowned investment institutions Temasek and YF Capital.
In fact, GM has invested in the field of autonomous driving before. In 2016, the American car company acquired Cruise, a self-driving startup, and supported company’s growth to a $30 billion valuation.
In June this year, GM announced that it would invest $35 billion in electric vehicles and autonomous driving between 2020 and 2025. In China, GM is rapidly expanding its local design and engineering strength, greatly improving its OTA software upgrading capability by relying on improved electrification architecture and 5G services. The first product based on the company’s Ultium electric vehicle platform will be launched soon.
Julian Blissett, Executive Vice President of GM and President of GM China, said, “China has a consumer group who are accepting of autonomous driving and electric vehicles. The agreement with Momenta will help GM to accelerate tailor-made, next-generation products for Chinese consumers and put them into use.”
Cao Xudong, CEO of Momenta, said, “Through cooperation with GM, we will jointly build industry-leading autonomous driving technology and provide a more convenient and efficient intelligent driving experience.”