Alibaba-backed autonomous car firm AutoX to test in four more cities

SHENZHEN/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Chinese autonomous vehicle startup AutoX, backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, said it is preparing for tests in four more cities and will soon test its technology with FCA’S Pacifica minivan.

The four-year-old firm is also in talks with prospective investors to fund fleet expansion and development, Chief Executive Xiao Jianxiong told Reuters, without elaborating.

Automakers and technology firms are investing billions of dollars in autonomous driving, aiming to take an early lead in what many consider the future of mobility. To attract deep-pocketed partners, startups seek to test their technology with different production vehicles in a variety of cities.

Shenzhen-based AutoX has modified a number of vehicles from various manufacturers and tested them in Shenzhen, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Wuhan and Wuhu. In July, it became the second firm after Alphabet Inc’s Waymo to test a vehicle on California’s public roads without a safety driver in the front.

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