WeRide’s Robovan, China’s first L4 self-driving cargo van.
By Charles Choi
Autonomous driving startup WeRide unveiled China’s first self-driving cargo van capable of level 4 autonomy — that is, the ability to act without any human intervention in the vast majority of situations — on September 9.
WeRide is developing the new vehicle, dubbed the Robovan, in partnership with Chinese automaker Jiangling Motors and Chinese delivery company ZTO Express. WeRide and Jiangling Motors will help develop the vehicle for mass production on JMC’s customized assembly lines, which ZTO Express aims to use in urban logistics applications.
“WeRide has always emphasized that autonomous driving technologies should be used effectively in reality to serve the society. With the introduction of Robovan, the very first level 4 self-driving cargo van in China, we have heralded a new era of autonomous driving for urban logistics in the country,” Tony Han, the founder and CEO of WeRide, said in a statement. “We are aiming to deliver both smart mobility and smart logistics for cities in the future.”
Robovan’s design is based on Jiangling Motors’ battery electric vehicles, and will be equipped with WeRide’s full-stack software and hardware autonomous driving solutions. It will offer all-weather, round-the-clock service on urban roads.
Established in 2017, WeRide is headquartered in Guangzhou, China, and has received backing from the Renault–Nissan–Mitsubishi Alliance, as well as Chinese automaker Yutong, the world’s largest bus manufacturer by sales volume. In April, WeRide became the first company in the world to hold permits to conduct fully driverless testing on public roads in both China and the United States.