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Chinese self-driving start-up receives investment from Mercedes-Benz

chinaplus.cri.cn | Updated: 2017-07-27 11:26
Chinese self-driving start-up receives investment from Mercedes-Benz

The Mercedes Benz F 015, an electric and autonomous concept car providing a vision of the automotive future, is introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, January 5, 2015.[Photo/VCG]

Chinese self-driving startup Momenta announced Tuesday that it has raised $46 million in its latest round of funding, with Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler AG as a major investor, thepaper.cn reported.

It is the first time the German automotive giant has invested in a Chinese startup, and is being described as "another instance of a Western auto maker seeking out a Chinese partner to gain a foothold in a challenging market," reports the Wall Street Journal.

Other investors in Momenta's new financing drive include Shunwei Capital, Sinovation Ventures, Unity Ventures and the leading NIO Capital, a private equity fund established by Chinese electric-vehicle maker NIO.

Momenta is a Beijing-based company focused on "Building Autonomous Driving Brains."

Backed up by its R&D team from top Chinese universities, the startup has an ambitious plan to "bring self-driving cars to become a reality" based on their "deep-learning-derived software in perception, semantic HD mapping, and path planning".

The firm previously sought investments from Shunwei and other venture capital firms in late 2016 and early 2017.

Autonomous vehicles have been made part of China's national agenda.

In a plan unveiled by the State Council, China's cabinet, on July 20, authorities vowed to boost capital investments and technical training in artificial intelligence industries.

By 2030, China's AI industries are forecast to be worth 1 trillion yuan ($148 billion), according to a long-term government analysis.

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