WeRide, a world-leading autonomous driving company, forayed into urban logistics industry with the unveiling of WeRide Robovan, the very first L4 self-driving cargo van in China. The company will work with Jiangling Motors (JMC), a major Chinese automobile manufacturer, and ZTO Express, a leading express delivery company in China, in a strategic cooperation, promoting mass production and the commercialization of WeRide Robovan. WeRide orchestrates this trilateral cooperation and creates an autonomous driving (AD) ecosystem for China’s urban logistics. WeRide now is not only dedicated to L4 autonomous driving mobility, but also smart urban logistics.
Tony Han, the Founder and CEO of WeRide, signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Wenhui Jin, Executive Vice President of JMC and Renqun Jin, Vice President of ZTO Express during WeRide’s latest web live Press Conference “The Next”. Combining the three companies’ expertise in technology, product innovation and commercialization, 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 customized assembly lines, while ZTO Express will acquire Robovans in their urban logistics usage.
Robovan is the third innovative AD product in the WeRide product family, in addition to Robotaxi and Mini Robobus. 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 solutions. It will offer all-weather, round-the-clock service on urban roads with leading L4 AD capabilities.
Being light-weight and nimble, Robovan naturally possesses substantial advantages in urban transport. After running a publicly accessible Robotaxi service for almost two years and the mass production of Robobuses on OEM assembly lines, WeRide has gained valuable experiences on product development and self-driving fleet operations. WeRide is confident that Robovan will 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.
In the future, the fully driverless Robovans will free up labor and provide uninterrupted logistics services. Complementary with digital and automatic AD fleet management platform, Robovan services will excel in the traditional logistics model. The birth of Robovan will revolutionize the existing urban logistics system, enabling faster and even more convenient delivery services. The commercialization of WeRide Robovan will change the landscape of urban logistics in an innovative way.
“WeRide has always emphasized that AD technologies should be used effectively in reality to serve the society. With the introduction of Robovan, the very first L4 self-driving cargo van in China, we have heralded a new era of autonomous driving for urban logistics in the country. By teaming up with two key players in the sector, Jiangling Motors and ZTO Express, we continue to uphold the “triangle model” of collaborating, an approach which WeRide has adopted since we developed passenger vehicles. We are aiming to deliver both smart mobility and smart logistics for cities in the future,” said Tony Han.
“This partnership will bring forth synergy which allows all parties to leverage on each other’s strengths. WeRide Robovan, one of the many achievements of this special trilateral partnership, will redefine urban logistics and inject new impetus into the industry,” according to Wenhui Jin, the Executive Vice President of JMC.
Renqun Jin, the Vice President of ZTO Express, said: “ZTO Express has been following the application of self-driving technology in urban logistics. By drawing on our strengths in hardware and software through this cooperation, we will jointly explore a new model for smart logistics and develop an integrated AD solution for urban logistics.”
Jianfa Lai, the Executive Vice President of ZTO Express, also made remarks on the cooperation: “As a forerunner in our industry, ZTO Express will introduce and accelerate the use of autonomous driving in urban logistics through this partnership.”
Currently, WeRide offers an all-rounded product mix of Robotaxi, Robovan and Mini Robobus and will continue to accelerate its technology. The company is dedicated to pursuing L4 autonomous driving on both mobility and logistics services.