KargoBot has become an independently operated company and received an investment of over RMB 450 million, according to local media.

Didi's autonomous trucking arm KargoBot becomes independent firm-CnEVPost

(Image credit: Didi Autonomous Driving)

Didi Chuxing's autonomous driving freight division KargoBot has become an independent company in a bid to be more flexible.

KargoBot has become an independently operated company and has received an investment of over RMB 450 million yuan ($61.5 million) from investors including Chinese conglomerate Erdos Group, local media outlet 36kr reported today.

The independent operation is to allow KargoBot to develop more flexibly, raise funds separately, advance external partnerships and accelerate commercialization, the report said, citing a person familiar with the matter.

An hour after that 36kr report was published, another local media outlet, Cailian, cited a response from KargoBot saying the report was true.

KargoBot has been upgraded from Didi's self-driving business to a startup to accelerate the scaling of self-driving solutions in the trunk logistics sector, the company told Cailian.

After the independent operation, the majority shareholder remains Didi Autonomous Driving, according to 36kr.

The KargoBot project began in 2021 and began loading mass-produced L4 autonomous trucks on October 10 of this year, the report noted.

KargoBot currently has a total of 150 autonomous heavy-duty trucks, mainly transporting coal and other commodities in northwest and north China.

Didi began autonomous driving research and development in 2016. In August 2019, Didi upgraded its autonomous driving division to an independent company.

On October 12, GAC said it plans to invest up to $149 million, along with a local company, in Didi's autonomous-vehicle subsidiary, Voyager Group Inc.

($1 = RMB 7.3126)

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