Chinese tech giant Xiaomi is getting closer to entering a new automotive segment for itself. The company, known for smartphones and other electronics, has created a division of Xiaomi EV Inc., which will develop and manufacture electric smart cars. According to CNBC, 300 employees are already working on the first-born automobile Xiaomi, and earlier the company’s director Lei Jun announced open vacancies for 500 engineers.
The authorized capital of the automobile subsidiary Xiaomi amounted to 10 billion yuan, or $ 1.55 billion, and over the next decade, the Chinese are planning to invest another $ 10 billion in its development. Lei Jun himself is in charge of the new division.
Xiaomi said that over the past five months, “a large amount of user research” and negotiations with partners have been carried out in order to determine exactly what the future electric car will be. Earlier it was reported that it will be a car with the fourth (penultimate) level of autonomy on the SAE International scale. It implies that the car does not require human intervention and can drive on its own, but only along a predetermined route.
Information about the emphasis on autonomy is confirmed by the fact that in August Xiaomi bought the Beijing-based startup Deepmotion. Its profile is 3D cartography that will help “improve the technological competitiveness” of Xiaomi’s auto business. The deal cost the company $ 77.37 million.
As for competitors, according to forecasts of insiders, Xiaomi may outstrip another company far from cars, Apple, which is also going to introduce an electric drone. According to some reports, it will appear in 2024-2025, according to others – not earlier than 2027. However, Apple does not officially disclose any information about the future product, unlike Xiaomi.