Reading Time: < 1 minute

Chinese company WeRide has unveiled the country’s first level 4 self-driving cargo van.

The new van is based on Jiangling Motors (JMC) existing battery-electric platform and will use WeRide’s autonomous driving tech. JMC will manufacture the vans.

However, in the future, JMC and WeRide will apparently collaborate on bespoke autonomous trucks. 

At the moment, the van is already being tested in China and is set to build on the success of WeRide’s robotaxi testing.

WeRide’s new robovans will be added to Chinese express delivery company ZTO’s fleet of urban delivery vehicles.

A WeRide spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch that the van has, quietly, been undergoing testing on China’s roads for some time.

However, it is still too early to start talking about mass production, with WeRide expected to choose another site in China to ramp up its testing efforts. 

“Right after that, we aim for being true driverless in a few areas and build up our know-how of operating Robovans in urban logistics application,” the spokesperson told TechCrunch.

“Considering both Robovan and Robotaxi are operating in urban cities, Robovan shares similar regulatory support as Robotaxi. Regulation in China is progressing step by step to catch up with the development of self-driving technology. You will see the application of true driverless Robovan in three to five years.”

Despite the amount of time needed to get the robovan working on the roads of China, WeRide is still proving popular with investors. The company has raised more than $600 million in Series B and C funding rounds in just five months. The company is apparently valued at $3.3 billion.

Leave a Comment