(Yicai) Sept. 12 -- Horizon Robotics, a Chinese provider of intelligent driving computing solutions, will transfer hundreds of employees from its internal software algorithm team to the self-driving joint venture with Cariad, the software unit of German automaker Volkswagen.
The size of the JV's staff is expected to reach 300 people after the transfer, according to a recent report by technology media 36Kr.
Cariad would appoint the JV's chief executive officer and Horizon Robotics would appoint JV's chief technology officer, according to a previous arrangement. The Beijing-based company sent its co-founder and CTO Huang Chang to the JV to lead the Level-2 assisted driving, high-speed pilot assisted driving, and automatic parking function teams.
Volkswagen announced in October last year that Cariad would join hands with Horizon Robotics to speed up customization of automated driving systems in the Chinese market. The German carmaker invested EUR2.4 billion (USD2.6 billion) for a 60 percent stake in the JV.
Since then, Volkswagen's intelligent transformation in China has made substantial progress.
However, Cariad still faces challenges, such as sluggish intelligent software with frequent bugs. Therefore, Volkswagen had to pour more local research and development resources into China and seek external help.
At the end of July, Xpeng Motors announced that Volkswagen would invest USD700 million for a 5 percent stake in the Chinese new energy vehicle startup. The pair said they planned to jointly develop two new Volkswagen-branded electric vehicle models for the Chinese market that will debut in 2026 and a new localization platform for the next generation of intelligent connected vehicles.
Cariad and Xpeng have different competencies, said Thomas Schäfer, CEO of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand. Volkswagen really hopes to complete a lot of work together with its partners and will announce the cooperation results in the future, Schäfer noted.
Horizon Robotics established a JV with Chinese automaker Changan Auto in February and sent some employees to join.
Editor: Futura Costaglione