Sweden-based electric vehicle maker NEVS will integrate AutoX’s autonomous driving technologies into its future models, said AutoX on its WeChat public account on Monday.
The two companies aim to collaborate to be the first to roll out a robo-taxi fleet in Europe by the end of 2020 – it’s an alliance that also shows the global nature of the EV space where companies from all parts of the world pool their resources.
Vehicles that allow driving assistance are already on the European market. Self-driving vehicles are currently being tested and are expected on the market between 2020 and 2030, while fully automated vehicles should arrive as of 2030, according to the website of the European parliament. It expects the self-driving vehicles market “grow exponentially,” creating new jobs and developing profits of up to EUR 620 billion (USD 696 billion) by 2025.
An analysis by KPMG found that Europe is across the board the best prepared for the rapid rise of autonomous vehicles, with the Netherlands in the spot as the global frontrunner for self-driving cars and trucks, followed by Singapore and Norway.
However, neither AutoX nor NEVS revealed which European country they will choose to launch their robo-taxi service.
AutoX is formally headquartered in the US, but was founded by Xiao Jianxiong, a Chinese computer science PhD who studied at MIT and later taught at Princeton University. The startup, founded in 2016, has part of its operations in Shenzhen. It was recently granted a license to operate commercial self-driving taxi services in the state of California.
NEVS was also set up by a Chinese named Jiang Dalong, in 2012. Chinese real estate developer Evergrande bought a 51% stake in NEVS in January. Six months later, the automaker rolled out its first so-called mass-produced EV model, the NEVS 93, in Tianjin, North China.
Another US player, Waymo, said it aims to make its way to Europe after launching its service in the US late 2018. The company’s CEO said that if Waymo did enter the European market, it would likely be with the help of a partner.