Transforming the Skies to the Streets: DJI’s Automotive Venture Attracts Major Investors

DJI Automotive: The New Contender in Smart Driving

DJI, renowned for its dominance in the drone market, is now steering its expertise towards the automotive industry. The company’s automotive arm, DJI Automotive, has caught the eye of major players like BYD and FAW Group. As reported by CNEVPost, these industry giants are set to invest in DJI Automotive, positioning it as a formidable competitor to Huawei in the smart driving arena.

Investment Rush and Market Valuation

DJI Automotive’s journey to becoming a key player in smart driving has begun with investment intentions from BYD and FAW. The financing process is currently underway, with DJI Automotive seeking a valuation of around 10 billion yuan ($1.4 billion). This move comes amid Huawei’s strategic redirection of its automotive unit, including a significant joint venture with Changan Automobile called Newcool, valued at over RMB 100 billion.

The Smart Driving Race Heats Up

The development of smart driving technology in China is accelerating, with companies like Nio, Xpeng, Li Auto, and Huawei-backed Aito pushing the boundaries. This rapid advancement is pressuring traditional car manufacturers, especially those with limited independent R&D capabilities. For these companies, partnering with Huawei’s automotive business or DJI Automotive emerges as a viable strategy to stay competitive.

Huawei’s Growing Influence and Concerns

Huawei’s automotive venture, particularly its high valuation and popularity, has reportedly drawn interest from various car companies, including Seres, Chery, and FAW.

However, this interest is tinged with apprehension, as some fear that investing in Huawei’s venture might limit their influence in the joint business.

DJI Automotive’s Independent Path and Innovations

DJI Automotive, having branched out as an independent entity in October 2022, is not resting on its laurels.On April 2, 2023, the company unveiled its next-generation smart driving solution. This technology boasts L2+ assisted driving functions, such as city pilot assisted driving, without relying on high-precision maps or LiDARs.

Notably, it achieves this with a computing power as low as 32 Tops, in contrast to the 508 Tops and 1,016 Tops delivered by Nvidia Orin X chips used in Xpeng, Li Auto, and Nio’s models.

A Strategic Collaboration with BYD

BYD, another heavyweight in the automotive sector, plans to incorporate DJI Automotive’s assisted driving solution in some of its models. This collaboration, reported on April 7, 2023, signifies a major endorsement of DJI Automotive’s capabilities.

The company’s algorithmic solutions and cost-control capabilities have already led to its integration into models like SAIC-GM-Wuling’s Baojun-branded Yunduo EV and the Chery iCar 03.

The Road Ahead for DJI Automotive

DJI Automotive’s foray into the smart driving sector marks a significant shift in the automotive industry, bringing fresh competition and innovation. With substantial investments from industry leaders and a clear vision for the future,

DJI Automotive is on a promising path to redefine smart driving technology and challenge established players. The coming years will likely see an intensification of the smart driving race, with DJI Automotive positioned as a pivotal player.

Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of EVXL.co, where he covers all electric vehicle-related news, covering brands such as Tesla, Ford, GM, BMW, Nissan and others. He fulfills a similar role at the drone news site DroneXL.co. Haye can be reached at haye @ evxl.co or @hayekesteloo.

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