Deeproute, a Chinese robotaxi startup enters the European market

Deeproute, a Chinese robotaxi startup with $350 million in funding, plans to open an operations center in Germany in 2024. This represents another Chinese autonomous driving company expanding into the home region of major global automakers.

At the recent Munich Auto Show, Deeproute announced intentions to deploy its production-ready autonomous solution in Germany next year, followed by other European markets.

Their Drive 3.0 system operates without HD maps and includes features like Park Assist, while costing only $2,000 thanks to affordable Chinese lidars. It utilizes Nvidia's Drive Orin system-on-chip.

While details are scarce, Deeproute stated a business development team will staff the Germany center. The specific city remains undeclared, though several seem likely options.

In 2021, rival Momenta opened an office in Stuttgart to enable closer relations with investor Mercedes-Benz headquartered there, possibly alongside other European suppliers.

Chinese EV maker Nio, developing its own ADAS tech, has a 1,500 square meter innovation hub in Berlin plus a design center and showroom in Munich.

Like ambitious Chinese startups, Deeproute started on level 4 autonomy but has shifted to near-term solutions for automaker partners needing reliable revenue.

Per a company representative, "Since partnering with OEMs on mass production last year, we've refocused from robotaxis to road testing production-ready vehicles." In 2022, Deeproute conducted over 800,000 passenger trips, mostly in Chinese cities.

The Germany foothold will help expand Deeproute's current OEM partners Geely and Seres. Having local business development will allow "engaging countless local automakers, supporting OEM partners on smart vehicle mass production, and more," they stated.

Deeproute's expansion mirrors China's ambitions to lead in autonomous driving. With operations in Germany, Deeproute can collaborate more seamlessly with world-class automakers to deliver next-generation vehicles. Establishing this European presence represents an important milestone as Chinese companies accelerate bringing disruptive transportation technologies to global markets.

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