Xiaomi is aiming to become an electric vehicle (EV) industry leader by 2024, according to a Tweet by the company’s CEO.
Lei Jun founded Xiaomi in 2010, just two years after he was appointed the chairman of UCWeb, the company behind the mobile browser UC Browser. Initially, the idea was for Xiaomi to manufacture smartphones, mobile apps, and other consumer electronics.
However, since its launch, we have only known the company for its smartphones and, more recently, its Mi Band smartwatches. Although, tech enthusiasts also know some of the consumer electronics it produces. In just ten short years, Xiaomi has established itself as the second largest smartphone maker in the world, behind Samsung. It has notably birther the Redmi and POCO brands as well.
Twelve years down the line, it appears that the dream never stopped for Lei Jun. He revealed on August 11, 2022, that Xiaomi entered the EV industry ‘500 days ago’, which means it officially joined in March 2021.
The company has grown its autonomous driving team to more than 500 members within this period. Xiaomi’s CEO believes that the key to winning the smart EV race is to master autonomous driving technology. A tech that not even Tesla, the current industry leader in EVs, has not mastered 100%.
Yet, the phone maker boasts of having self-developed full stack algorithms for its pilot technology. It plans to invest $500 million (or RMB3.3 billion) in the first phase of its autonomous driving in the hope that it will lead the smart EV industry by 2024.
Lei Jun posted a video of the Xiaomi Pilot Test vehicle navigating a busy street without anyone behind the wheels in a demo. The vehicle performs a u-turn, drives through a tricky intersection, avoids a broken down car in the middle of the road, drives around a roundabout and stops for a crosswalk. See video below:
Our Xiaomi Pilot Test vehicle has achieved a safe and smooth driving experience under various conditions. Check out the video below for some of my favorite demos! #LeiJunAnnualSpeech pic.twitter.com/5ngOtkwoWp
— leijun (@leijun) August 11, 2022
Xiaomi faces several contenders for Tesla’s crown with the car-industry old-timers like GM, Ford, and Mercedes, as well as newbies like Lucid Motors and Waymo already in the running. It will certainly be entertaining to see the competition in a year.
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