Chinese self-driving truck startup Inceptio raises $100 million – sources

A man wearing a face mask walks past a logo of autonomous truck startup Inceptio Technology at its office in Beijing, China April 16, 2020. REUTERS/Yilei Sun

BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s Inceptio Technology, a startup developing self-driving trucks, has raised $100 million in its latest funding round from logistics firm GLP, its key strategic investor G7 and other investors, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The proceeds from its series A funding round will be used to further develop its technologies and to start commercial trials, said the sources, who declined to be named as they were not authorised to speak to media.

The company, which aims to operate a freight network with autonomous driving trucks in China from 2022, has partnerships with Dongfeng Automobile Co Ltd (600006.SS), Sinotruk Hong Kong Ltd (3808.HK) and Foton (600166.SS).

The two-year-old firm is developing autonomous driving software and an in-car computing system while the truckmakers are responsible for the vehicles’ platforms.

Inceptio declined to comment. G7 and Singapore-based GLP did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Inceptio focuses on level 3 and 4 technologies. A level 3 vehicle will enable drivers to turn their attention away from driving but they still need to take over if the car encounters a problem, while with level 4 technologies, there is no human intervention in most circumstances.

The trucking industry is expected to an earlier adopter of autonomous driving technology compared to passenger vehicle makers as driving on highways is more predictable than on busy city streets.

German automaker Daimler (DAIGn.DE) and U.S. postal giant United Parcel Service Inc (UPS.N) have invested in self-driving trucks.

Reporting by Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh; Editing by Edwina Gibbs

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