Tech giants Xiaomi has acquired autonomous driving startup Deepmotion for USD70 million, with a bold plan to invest a further USD10 billion in the electric car industry over the next decade.
With the acquisition of Deepmotion, the company hopes to speed up development for Level 4 autonomous driving technology quicker, allowing them to market their new product sooner. Xiaomi has since strengthened its team as well, hiring over 500 new engineers to kick start their project.
The company announced earlier this year that it will be entering the electric car business through a wholly-owned subsidiary. It is one of the latest big Chinese tech companies to join the business following the likes of Baidu, Alibaba, and Didi.
The expansion beyond smartphones and gadgets into the automotive industry will be personally led by Xiaomi’s co-founder and CEO, Lei Jun, according to Chinese media reports.
Internal sentiments are extremely positive with Lei Jun claiming that the company is in the right financial position to endure the long and costly journey into vehicle manufacturing.
Xiaomi has also said that it’s been talking to several automakers but has yet to name a partner. Without one, it would be even more challenging when faced with specialised Chinese electric car companies like Nio, Xpeng and not to mention Tesla.
Xiaomi’s market share grew by over 80% between June 2020 and June 2021, after it shipped 52.8 million phones last year. It is currently the world’s second top-selling smartphone brand, behind Samsung but ahead of Apple.