NVIDIA Invests in Chinese Self-Driving Car Startup, JingChi

by Alain Tiquet

NVIDIA GPU Ventures has joined a group of investors led by Chinese venture capitalist firm, Qiming Venture, in investing $52 million in Chinese startup JingChi.

Founded last spring by Tony Han and Jing Wang, former leaders of the autonomous driving unit at Baidu, JingChi uses NVIDIA GPUs and NVIDIA DRIVE PX 2 to develop its autonomous cars.

In June, it successfully completed its first autonomous mode testing on public roads. The company plans to put 50 self-driving cars on the streets of Anging City, China, by the end of this year, and to launch an Uber-like ride-hailing service there in 2018.

JingChi said the investment will allow it quickly scale up its research and development teams in Beijing and Sunnyvale, Calif., and ramp up deployment of a fully Level 4 autonomous driving test fleet in China by the end of the year.

The NVIDIA DRIVE PX AI platform is crucial to developing and deploying deep learning capabilities for JingChi and many other autonomous vehicle projects around the world.

“NVIDIA offers significant computational benefits that will boost in-vehicle computation abilities, making JingChi’s autonomous vehicles safer and more reliable,” said Han. “JingChi is eager to work with NVIDIA to maximize the benefits of DRIVE PX to realize its vision of bringing autonomous ride-hailing to China.”

“AI is reshaping the transportation industry, and startups in China and around the world are playing a big part in that,” said Jeff Herbst, NVIDIA’s vice president of Business Development. “JingChi is making impressive progress on its vision for harnessing deep learning for autonomous driving and we’re dedicated to supporting their important work.”

NVIDIA continues to expand its portfolio of startup investments, adding more than 10 companies in five countries over the past year. Among the new investments are:

  • ABEJA – Tokyo startup focused on AI-powered retail analytics systems
  • Datalogue – New York AI data-mining platform developed out of Cornell University
  • Deep Instinct – Israeli startup focused on cybersecurity
  • Element AI – Montreal startup helps companies quickly integrate AI capabilities
  • Fastdata.io – California startup offering streaming analytics software
  • Optimus Ride – MIT spinoff developing fully autonomous vehicles
  • SoundHound – Silicon Valley startup building voice-enabled AI solutions
  • TempoQuest – Colorado startup doing GPU-accelerated weather forecasting
  • TuSimple – Chinese autonomous truck startup
  • Zebra Medical – Israeli startup using AI to read medical images

For more information, click here to read the full press release.