China Aims to Build Own Chips for Millions of Autonomous Cars


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China is hoping to develop chips that will be the brains of millions of self-driving cars. This aspiration is evident with Horizon Robotics Inc., a Chinese startup that develops chips for robots, that has moved up the value chain of manufacturing as it focuses more on artificial intelligence and sophisticated semiconductors to be used in autonomous cars, Bloomberg reports.

The Beijing company is reportedly competing with Mobileye NV, an Israeli tech company that produces vision-based advanced driver-assistance systems, and Nvidia as the business of autonomous-driving industry booms. 

The recent research conducted by research company Gartner Inc. shows that the annual revenue generated from chips that are used in autonomous cars will reach $5 billion all over the world by 2021.

Horizon Robotics’ founder Yu Kai said that Chinese companies continue to evolve from made-in-China to created-in-China. “Now, we are heading to invented-in-China,” Kai continues.

In a forum in Shanghai, Tsinghua University Institute of Microelectronics’ director Wei Shaojun said, “China has to spare no efforts to pick up and develop its own chip technology.” Shaojun adds that the purpose of which is to improve their own sense of security, especially as the US is making them "fearful" of “protectionism” against China.

The daily also said that the administration of President Xi Jinping has given priority for the self-reliance of local chipmakers. This also led experts and researchers to view that China wants to gain a leadership position in developing chips for driverless cars.