Hong Kong picked for Chinese AI driverless vehicle firm Uisee’s international headquarters, research centre

Hong Kong picked for Chinese AI driverless vehicle firm Uisee’s international headquarters, research centre

Hong Kong picked for Chinese AI driverless vehicle firm Uisee’s international headquarters, research centre

Chinese AI driverless company Uisee has picked Hong Kong for setting up its international headquarters, with plans to use the city as its springboard for expansion into Singapore, the Middle East and Europe.

The company has provided more than 50 driverless vehicles to the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA), ranging from autonomous electric baggage tractors to driverless patrol cars and driverless shuttle buses, and is now looking to launch itself into new markets, following its success in manoeuvring 700,000 kilometres of driverless operations, helping address labour shortages and achieve cost reductions.

“We have established our safety record and operational efficiency with HKIA, which showcases our company’s capabilities,” said Wu Gansha, co-founder, chairman and CEO of the AI driverless company. “We are now expanding our foothold to Singapore, the Middle East and Europe.”

A McKinsey report said that by 2035, autonomous driving could create US$300 billion to US$400 billion in revenue, and that it had the “potential to transform transportation, consumer behaviour, and society at large”.

A Uisee driverless shuttle bus, used for taking staff to and from different destinations at the airport. Photo: Handout

“The knock-on effects of autonomous cars on other industries could be significant,” McKinsey’s “Autonomous driving’s future: Convenient and connected” report said.

“For example, by reducing the number of car accidents and collisions, Autonomous Driving (AD) technology could limit the number of consumers requiring roadside help and repairs. That may put pressure on those types of businesses as consumer adoption of AD rises.”

It said that consumers with self-driving cars might not be required to pay steep insurance premiums, since handing over control of vehicles to AD systems might mean that individual drivers could no longer be held liable for car accidents.

“As a consequence, new business-to-business insurance models may arise for autonomous travel,” the report said.

Uisee, a Beijing-founded company, which has two research and development (R&D) centres and multiple offices in mainland China, will also set up an R&D centre in Hong Kong, focusing on technological support for its overseas business, according to the city’s investment promotion agency InvestHK.

“We are very delighted to see the continuous growth of Uisee in Hong Kong and beyond,” said Alpha Lau Hai-suen, director general of investment promotion at InvestHK.

Chinese driverless AI firm aims to lure global talent to new Hong Kong HQ

“Uisee’s success shows that the city is an ideal platform for advanced technology companies to build a solid foundation for their global expansion, and to raise funding to ensure their continued success.”

Uisee expanded to Hong Kong in 2018 and started its first overseas driverless project with Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) in 2019, having won the project over other companies from Germany, Japan, and mainland China.

“Hong Kong with its strategic location, strong global business network and connectivity is an ideal location to base our international expansion from, so it is only natural that we set up our international headquarters here,” said Uisee’s Wu.

He added Hong Kong was a strategic location for research and development, which accorded with the group’s vision of “Beijing DNA with Hong Kong bloodline, China standard for global products.”

Uisee had previously secured three rounds of financing from strategic investors, including German electronics giant Bosch, the National Manufacturing Transformation and Upgrading Fund under China’s Ministry of Finance, Chongqing Gaoke Group, and Dongfeng Asset Management.

Hong Kong, as an international financial hub, is being considered as a location for a dual-listing for the company’s initial public offering, according to Wu.

Lau said InvestHK and the Office for Attracting Strategic Enterprises will continue to work with Uisee to facilitate the establishment of their first overseas R&D centre, bringing further business prospects to Hong Kong and supporting the company’s continued expansion overseas.

Source link