The company will work with Jiangling Motors (JMC), a major Chinese automobile manufacturer and Ford light commercial vehicle JV partner, and ZTO Express, an express delivery company, in a strategic cooperation, promoting mass production and the commercialisation of the AV van.
Tony Han, founder and CEO of WeRide, has now signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Wenhui Jin, EVP of JMC and Renqun Jin, VP of ZTO Express.
Combining the three companies’ expertise in technology, product innovation and commercialisation, they will jointly undertake Robovan’s commercial pilot operations and explore the know how of upgrading urban logistics. Moving forward, WeRide and JMC will work closely together to design purpose built models for mass production on JMC’s customised assembly lines, while ZTO Express will acquire Robovans for urban logistics usage.
Robovan’s design is based on JMC’s battery electric vehicle (BEV) model with a fully-redundant vehicle platform and WeRide’s full-stack software and hardware AD. It will offer all-weather, round-the-clock service on urban roads with L4 AD capabilities.
WeRide said it was confident Robovan would be able to operate “in a stable, safe and efficient manner under different circumstances, including various urban traffic scenarios in CBD, urban villages, tunnels and highways”.