General Motors has announced a $300 million investment in China-based autonomous driving startup, Momenta.
Momenta was established in 2016 and specialises in high definition (HD) automated mapping systems used in autonomous vehicles. It has said it plans to test driverless vehicles in 2022 and make its systems available for series production vehicles thereafter. It expects to become profitable by 2024.
Crucially, Momenta holds a government permit for gathering HD maps in China, a key tool in autonomous driving technologies and is working with a number of automakers to develop mass-production vehicles with self-driving functions to gather real-time data.
President of GM China, Julian Blissett, said: “Customers in China are embracing electrification and advanced self-driving technology faster than anywhere else in the world, and the agreement between GM and Momenta will accelerate our deployment of next-generation solutions tailor-made for our consumers in China.”
Earlier this year, General Motors announced that it would invest $35bn in electric vehicles and autonomous driving between 2020 and 2025. In China, GM is rapidly expanding its local design and engineering capabilities, relying on VIP electrification architecture and 5G services to greatly enhance its OTA software upgrade capabilities, and its first product based on the Ultium Auto electric vehicle platform will also be launched soon.
Momenta has in the past received funding from a number of companies, including Nio, Toyota, SAIC and Daimler. It claims to have data-driven “flywheel” technical insights and a scalable path to fully autonomous driving.