Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi recently acquired local self-driving technology company DeepMotion, which will have a team of up to 20 people joining it, auto industry-focused WeChat account Auto-Bit reported Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.

This will help supplement its lineup of team leaders for various modules of self-driving technology, potentially laying the foundation for the development of self-driving technology for Xiaomi cars, the report said.

DeepMotion was founded in July 2017 and is seen as a company in the field of high precision mapping and positioning technology.

Its co-founder and CEO Cai Rui, CTO Li Zhiwei, Chief Scientist Yang Kuiyuan and R&D Director Zhang Chi have all worked at Microsoft Research Asia.

In 2018, Cai said in a media interview that DeepMotion used a vision-based multi-sensor fusion strategy.

At that time, its high-precision positioning technology could already achieve a positioning accuracy of 30 - 40cm front-to-back and 10 - 20cm left-to-right.

In terms of technology route, DeepMotion takes high precision map as the core, and integrates perception, positioning and composition modules at the algorithm level.

DeepMotion offers a full stack of autonomous driving solutions, including technologies such as forward/round/perimeter vision perception systems and autonomous valet parking AVP solutions.

DeepMotion's strong algorithmic capabilities will complement Xiaomi's engineering capabilities and commercialization, Auto-Bit said, citing a source close to the acquisition.

If the DeepMotion team is successfully integrated with the Xiaomi self-driving team, it is basically inferred that Xiaomi self-driving will use a vision-based solution, the report said.

DeepMotion's last public round of funding was a Series A round that closed in March 2018 for tens of millions of dollars. It is seeking funding in early 2020 at an expected valuation of $200 million.

Xiaomi's DeepMotion acquisition could be valued at the RMB 1 billion level, the report said.

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