Oct 12, 2018 (China Knowledge) - China-based RoboSense which makes Light and Distance Ranging (LiDAR) sensors for self-driving cars has raised USD 45 million in a latest funding round led by Alibaba, SAIC Motor Group and BAIC Group. Alibaba made its investment through its logistics arms Cainiao Smart Logistics Network.
The funds raised will be used for further research and development and to increase the company’s market share. Robosense currently holds 50% of the market share for all LiDAR technologies sold in Asia and is the market leader in LiDAR technologies.
LiDAR sensors which are an essential component in self-driving cars are expected to see a surge in demand as the global car industry pushes towards autonomous vehicles. Global sales of driverless cars are expected to exceed 1 million by 2025 and exceed 33 million by 2040.
Alibaba itself has made significant investments on self-driving cars in the past. Earlier in September, Alibaba launched its first ever L4-class self-driving logistics vehicle at The Computing Conference in Hangzhou and has obtained license plates from the Hangzhou local police for testing.
In addition, Alibaba also plans to make its own artificial intelligence (AI) interference chip for use in self-driving cars in the second half of next year.
The recent investment by Alibaba in Robosense spells the beginning of a complimentary partnership for both companies in the autonomous vehicle segment.
Robosense’s other investors include Haitong Securities, Fosun Group, Oriental Fortune Capital, Kinzon Capital, and Guangdong Investment Pvt Ltd.
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