Self-Driving Startup Momenta Raises Additional USD 200 Million

Automotive Author: Raul Siurano Nov 05, 2021 11:46 AM (GMT+8)

Toyota, SAIC, and other notable automotive firms have contributed a total of USD 1.2 Bn in funding this year


Momenta is gaining momentum with a star studded list of contributors including Jack Ma’s Yunfeng Capital, Bosch, Singapore’s Temasek, Daimler, and even the government of Suzhou. They received USD 300 million from just General Motors (GM) alone in September. GM has stated that launch timing for next-generation advanced self-driving technologies and other details will be shared closer to production. Those future models will be deployed in China.

Many other automakers are pouring billions of dollars into developing self-driving cars or risk falling behind the innovation curve. Toyota, SAIC, and others recent additional financing of Momenta should help them compete with superstars like Tesla who self-develop their own advanced smart driving technologies. Cao Xudong, Momenta’s founder and CEO, told TechCrunch that, “the auto industry needs to develop more advantages when confronting Tesla’s marketing today, so they are paying more attention to autonomous driving.” The first production car built with Momenta’s assisted-driving system will be SAIC’s electric Zhiji L7 sedan which will start mass delivery as soon as next year. By 2024 or 2025, Momenta solutions aspires to power millions of vehicles.

Momenta has developed three advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) versions of its Mpilot product line: highway, parking and urban. Momenta Go robotaxi service started pilot operations with safety drivers in October 2020 in Suzhou. Cao ultimately declared that, “Electrification is no longer enough to differentiate one high-end car brand from another because the motors and batteries they use are quite similar. The key differentiator now is intelligence,”

Momenta was founded in 2016 by a team of AI engineers from Microsoft Research Asia. They use a data-driven approach with an algorithm able to turn sensory information about a vehicle and its surroundings into actionable information in real time. Momenta’s collaboration with legacy automakers allows them to collect billions of data points from high volume driving needed to power the algorithm.