We’ve previously written about Byton, a Chinese electric vehicle (EV) startup that hopes to conquer the global market with its autonomous design and generous internal display, as well as other important features. The company just announced it has secured a Series B funding round to the tune of $500 million.
Byton Brings In $500M To Move Forward With EVs/AVs
Not too long ago, we wrote about how Byton acquired a facility near Los Angeles to give itself a precious foothold in one of the biggest EV car cultures around. Not too recently it also announced a partnership with the US-based startup Aurora, which looks like a ht player in the autonomous vehicle (AV) world. The self-driving veteran team at Aurora is also working closely with VW and Hyundai. Aurora was co-founded by Chris Urmson, formerly head of Alphabet’s Google self-driving program; Sterling Anderson, previously working on the Tesla autopilot program; and robotics expert Drew Bagnell.
According to Byton, the plan is to built its first vehicle in Nanjing: “It it will be available in China near the end of 2019, with the United States and Europe to follow. First models will be partially autonomous, providing advanced driver assistance systems, with full autonomy to be enabled from 2020 through a software upgrade.”
Byton CEO and co-founder Dr. Carsten Breitfeld was enthusiastically quoted as saying: “By combining our expertise in R&D and traditional car-making with innovative Internet technologies, we aspire to pioneer a smart mobility revolution.”
Investors include FAW Group, Tus-Holdings, and CATL, a giant Chinese battery company we seem to be covering frequently these days.
Byton also announced the opening of a new HQ in Nanjing, China. This is on top of Byton’s research and development center in Santa Clara, California.
Byton Steadily Pushing Onward With AVs & EVs
Steve Hanley recently asked if this was the future of driving? While shapes, colors, and other trends come and go, AVs will certainly come in this flavor — as well as in all sizes and shapes, three wheels included.
If the first part of the EV race was fast paced and flashy, this second wave is slower and more methodical. Byton securing an extra $500 million might not be much in the grand scheme of things, but it should help get this company to market with its first electric SUV, by the end of next year even.
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