Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun said the company is currently running tests on 140 vehicles across China for autonomous driving. Speaking at a livestreamed company event, Lei said the company had 500 staff devoted solely to developing autonomous driving technology for its upcoming car and had put 3.3 billion yuan ($490 million) towards the initiative.
Xiaomi enters the electric car and autonomous driving market assertively
The big technology company Xiaomi has been developing an electric car for a long time, and the company also carries out autonomous tests in this regard. The company announced that it has started preparations for a smart electric vehicle / electric car production study with its public statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
Lei Jun, Founder, President and CEO of Xiaomi, announced that its first electric vehicles will be operated under a Xiaomi-owned subsidiary. This subsidiary later turned out to be Xiaomi Automobile. Lei Jun, who was directly in charge of the process, explained that the new company has more than 500 employees. The famous CEO later announced that the first vehicle would be put into mass production in the first half of 2024.
It is known that the company will establish an automobile factory for this vehicle and aims to produce up to 300,000 automobiles per year with this factory. While the work continues for the 2024-focused factory, which is informed that it will be established in two stages, based in Beijing, different tests are carried out for the vehicle itself. For example, it has recently been revealed that Xiaomi is conducting tests on public roads for autonomous driving systems that it will use in its first vehicle.
Xiaomi, which is expected to show a high automatic driving performance in the first electric car model, gets help from LiDAR hardware placed on the ceiling as well as cameras in the vehicle in the tests. These devices, which determine the distance of the surrounding objects or surfaces with the laser pulses they send to the environment, move 360 degrees and can work precisely and quickly. While many companies are conducting tests on equipping autonomous vehicles with LiDAR, Tesla is taking steps to build its autopilot system on camera and artificial intelligence.
Xiaomi believes it has significant advantages when it comes to electric cars. Lei Jun explained this with the following articles he shared last year:
- Smart electric vehicles have radically changed the business model of the traditional automotive industry, and Xiaomi has detailed knowledge of the hardware-based internet service business model.
- Xiaomi has the most extensive experience in software and hardware integration and the deepest production know-how in the internet industry.
- Xiaomi has the most comprehensive smart ecosystem in terms of product variety, product scale, and number of users.
- Xiaomi has many core technologies that can be applied to smart electric vehicles.
- Xiaomi has a strong brand and a strong user base, with the trust and support of Mi fans around the world.
- It has abundant cash resources that allow Xiaomi to invest in this space with confidence.