SAIC Motor, Momenta Start Public Trials of RobotaxisBy Antonio Gozain | Thu, 12/09/2021 - 11:46
SAIC Mobility, a SAIC Motor specialized business unit, and autonomous driving startup Momenta started offering autonomous robotaxis test rides in Shanghai, reported Reuters.
“The launch of SAIC Mobility robotaxi is an important milestone for SAIC Motor’s strategy in electrification, connectivity and shared mobility. Operations in Shanghai and Suzhou will continue to contribute to the development of autonomous driving capabilities, and provide better mobility service for our customers,” said Chen Demei, Vice President, SAIC Motor.
The two companies are testing 20 robotaxi cars in Shanghai to evaluate their viability for commercial use. The trial is set to expand to a second Chinese city next year, said Momenta. The vehicles are based on SAIC’s Marvel R electric SUV and can be ordered through the homepage of the new version of the SAIC Mobility App, as long as users are within the permitted range of the autonomous driving route. Music and air conditioning temperature can be set within the app’s interface.
OEMs are evolving from car manufacturers into mobility providers, while carrying on ambitious carbon neutrality goals. “SAIC Mobility’s deep experience in mobility service, combined with Momenta’s leading autonomous driving technologies will create synergies and help deploy safer and more convenient driving solutions for our customers. I believe this will become an industry benchmark for in-depth collaboration between autonomous driving companies, OEMs and mobility platforms," said Cao Xudong, CEO, Momenta.
OEMs continue investing and incorporating automated driving systems. However, there is still a long road ahead before vehicles actually drive themselves. According to industry regulators, there is no vehicle in the market with the level of autonomy for drivers to fully relinquish control, reported MBN.
Beijing-based startup Momenta has established partnerships and investments with several automakers besides SAIC Motor, including General Motors, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz and with Tier 1 suppliers such as Bosch. In the future, the startup will continue to “work closely with industry partners to develop and deploy leading autonomous driving technology suitable for the global driving environment to accelerate the arrival of the era of smart driving,” said Momenta.
SAIC Motor is the biggest Chinese automaker and made its entrance into the Mexican market in late 2020, with the British brand MG Motor. The brand has been well-received in Mexico, with solid figures across its first months in the country. With a product portfolio of one small sedan and two SUVs, MG Motor has sold 9,000 units in Mexico since its arrival, taking 1.3 percent of the market share and surpassing JAC and BAIC in sales.