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Alibaba-based autonomous driving startup expands to Germany, gears up for European market entry founder
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In a major step toward its global expansion strategy,, the autonomous driving startup backed by Alibaba, has revealed its intentions to establish an operations centre in Germany by the year 2024. This strategic decision will enable the Shenzhen-based company to access and engage with the European market, fostering stronger partnerships with leading automakers in the region.

The announcement was made during the International Motor Show Germany in Munich, where several Chinese mobility firms showcased their cutting-edge innovations.

Entry into Germany

This entry into Germany will facilitate the growth of its business development team and serve as a crucial milestone in the company’s global expansion plan. Although the precise location of the centre has yet to be finalised, is actively exploring options to ensure it is situated in close proximity to key automotive hubs in Germany. is set to introduce its cutting-edge autonomous driving solution, known as Drive 3.0, to the German market. This innovative solution, developed without reliance on high-definition maps, boasts advanced features, including valet park assist. The hardware is priced attractively at $2,000, made possible through its partnership with competitive Chinese lidar suppliers.

Furthermore, the system harnesses the power of Nvidia’s Drive Orin system-on-a-chip, further augmenting its capabilities. This move represents a significant step in’s mission to revolutionise autonomous driving technology.

Why has set its eyes on Germany?’s choice to establish a foothold in Germany aligns with the prevailing trend among Chinese mobility startups seeking to expand their presence into European markets. This strategic move brings them in closer proximity to well-established European automakers, fostering opportunities for collaborative advancements in the automotive industry.

A noteworthy example of this trend is’s competitor, Momenta, which recognised the potential early on and established an office in Stuttgart two years ago. This strategic decision allowed Momenta to strengthen its connections with investors, including Mercedes-Benz, a prominent German automaker, and potentially other European original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

Likewise, Nio, a distinguished Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer, has already established an innovation centre in Berlin and a design facility in Munich. This existing presence in Germany has played a pivotal role in supporting Nio’s growth and nurturing partnerships with European counterparts, including Mercedes-Benz, thereby expanding their influence within the region.

Expanding operations to Germany will enable the company to further expand its customer base among OEMs. Currently, the company’s OEM partnerships include Seres and Geely.

Achievements by

Founded in Shenzhen in 2019 by Maxwell Zhou with a Doctorate degree in Artificial Intelligence, is initially focused on developing Level 4 driverless technologies for the robo taxis. The company has shifted its focus to also cater to auto partners seeking less advanced driving solutions. This strategic pivot enables to generate immediate cash flow and collaborate with automotive industry leaders on mass production projects.

It accumulated an impressive track record, having provided over 800,000 passenger rides by the end of 2022, predominantly through its fleet of robo taxis operating in major Chinese cities. So far, the robo taxi startup has secured $350 million in total funding and has over 500 employees worldwide.

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