On May 18, it is learned from IT Home that BYD, China’s largest electric car maker, has set up a new division and started a hiring spree to make up for it as it lags behind rivals in autonomous driving, Reuters reported.
According to the report, Stella Li, executive vice president of BYD, revealed at an investor forum earlier this month that the company had recently hired 4,000 to 5,000 software engineers, saying, “We are not ahead of others, but we will launch various innovations within two or three years.” Currently, BYD is recruiting professionals in the field of autonomous driving from Zhejiang University and other top universities.
BYD established an intelligent driving research unit in Shanghai last year, according to three people familiar with the matter. Previously, the company’s engineers working on autonomous driving were scattered across various departments. The new department will allow BYD to more centralize its work on advanced autonomous driving technology.
IT Home noticed that BYD sold about 510,000 pure electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in China in the first quarter of this year, accounting for nearly 40% of sales of such vehicles and nearly four times Tesla’s sales. However, when it comes to autonomous driving, BYD lags behind rivals such as Tesla, Xpeng, NIO and Li Auto. At present, most of BYD’s models use the advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) developed by Bosch.
Since the beginning of this year, BYD has cooperated with chip technology companies such as Nvidia and Horizon. Nvidia’s Orin is one of the world’s most powerful autonomous driving computing platforms, and it will be used in BYD’s Dynasty series and Ocean series models in the future. Horizon’s Journey 5 will be used in BYD’s Han series sedans in the second half of this year. That would give the model a Tesla-like highway-automatic assist feature, according to one of the people.