PIX Moving, a Chinese company that makes chassis for self-driving vehicles, announced at the end of last week that it has raised a Pre-Series A round of funding. Details in the English-language press release provided to The Spoon didn’t provide a specific dollar amount, only saying it had raised “tens of millions” in Chinese Yuan. The only investor listed in this round is Guizhou Transportation Planning Survey&design Academe Co., ltd.
Dubbed the “skateboard,” PIX’s chassis can be used to power a number of different types of low-speed autonomous vehicles. Most relevant to Spoon readers, restaurant or third-party delivery companies could use affix lockers on top of PIX’s skateboard to make a mobile automat, or a grocer could create a temperature-controlled store on wheels.
According to today’s press announcement, 23 types of vehicles have been developed using PIX’s platform, and vehicles have been delivered to roughly 100 customers around the world. To help speed up production of its skateboard, PIX has also developed Lightsaber, a 3D metal printing manufacturing system that removes the need for molds.
When we last checked in with PIX, the company was still navigating the various regulations around self-driving vehicles in China and the U.S., though the company had deployed vehicles to private campuses in both countries.
While self-driving vehicles still have a number of hurdles to overcome before they go mainstream, they have gotten much closer to hitting the road, as it were, over the past year. Last year, Nuro’s self-driving pod-like vehicle got approvals from the federal and California governments to operate on public roads. More recently, Gatik, which builds autonous delivery trucks for the middle mile, announced that it would operate two of its routes without human drivers this year.
As it moves closer to market, PIX said it will use its new funding to mass produce its vehicles for a variety of applications.