DeepRoute will provide Great Wall Motor with an end-to-end smart driving solution that it plans to use on three models this year, according to local media.

(Image credit: CnEVPost)

Chinese auto giant Great Wall Motor (HKG: 2333) will reportedly use smart driving solutions from local autonomous driving startup DeepRoute, on top of those from Haomo.AI Technology, which it supports.

Great Wall Motor has brought in DeepRoute as its second smart driving supplier, and the startup will provide an end-to-end smart driving solution that's slated to be used on three models this year, according to a report in LatePost today.

The automaker's first smart driving supplier was Haomo, a startup that was originally its smart driving division but became a standalone company in November 2019.

Haomo has secured four rounds of funding, the last of which was a Series B1 round announced on February 22 for over RMB 100 million ($13.8 million). Haomo's driver assistance system, HPilot, is currently available in more than 20 Great Wall Motor models.

Despite Haomo's help, Great Wall Motor's city NOA (Navigate On Autopilot) feature has been slower to advance than (NYSE: XPEV) and , LatePost said, adding that the automaker is hoping to catch up with the trend with the introduction of DeepRoute as this new end-to-end technology enters the spotlight.

For smart driving systems, modules such as perception, prediction, decision-making, and control all require engineers in different fields to be responsible for them. Some companies choose to rely on programmers to write rule-based code to solve massive problems.

An end-to-end smart driving system can alleviate this issue by taking sensor data as input and using it directly for the vehicle's control commands, relying on neural network models for all intermediate processes.

Using just one model, the technology can turn perceptual information gathered by sensors like cameras into operational signals for the vehicle, allowing it to drive itself, LatePost's report today noted.

DeepRoute was founded in February 2019, became the first company to be able to conduct robotaxi manned tests in Shenzhen in April 2021, and released Driver 3.0, a self-driving solution that doesn't require high-definition maps, last March.

Neither DeepRoute nor Haomo has yet launched a production product based on an end-to-end model, LatePost quoted a person close to Great Wall as saying, adding that the automaker's strategy is aimed at diversifying risk.

In early 2023, DeepRoute shifted its main resources to developing an end-to-end model and completed road testing last August, according to LatePost. DeepRoute's end-to-end model Demo impressed Great Wall Motor, an industry source said.

Great Wall Motor director Wei Jianjun has aggressive goals for new energy vehicles (NEVs), as he hopes to have more than 50 models and achieve annual sales of 4 million by 2025, according to the report.

Haomo's team, currently about 900, will struggle to support Great Wall Motor's 50-model array, so more suppliers will be needed, the report noted.

Great Wall's Tank brand launches Tank 700 Hi4-T off-road SUV