Self-driving vehicle company AutoX closed a $100M Series A funding round earlier this week, reports KrAsia. This round was led by state-owned Chinese car company Dongfeng Motor, with participation from Alibaba, Silicon Valley’s Plug and Play China fund and Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation. This brings the total amount raised by AutoX to $160.1 million.
In addition to building an autonomous driving platform that can be integrated into standard vehicles, the company launched a unique grocery delivery + mobile commerce pilot in San Jose, CA in August last year. While the service allows users to order groceries through the AutoX app on their phone, the delivery vehicle itself is also stocked with items that can be purchased on the spot.
In January of this year, we reported on how AutoX was quietly expanding into more restaurant delivery. Delivering meals allowed for more stops per trip, and helped avoid one of the drawbacks of self-driving grocery delivery–the fact that groceries can be heavy and consumers still need to lug them from the curb to the house or up apartment stairs.
Unlike Nuro or RoboMart which make small, low-speed pod-like vehicles, AutoX is intentionally sticking with full-sized autonomous driving. The company believes the longer distances and faster driving capabilities of full sized cars make them more useful here in the U.S.. Additionally, unlike those self-driving rivals, AutoX is not making its own car and is instead focusing only on the self-driving technology, which can then be applied to different car types like sedans and minivans.
AutoX plans to use its new money to build out its autonomous fleet and hiring up its technical team.