Momenta Raises A Lot Of Money

I was pleased to read that Chinese autonomous driving startup Momenta just announced a partnership with Toyota, including what Reuters reports to be a $500 million investment.

I have no special connection to Momenta, but I hadn’t read much about them recently, so I am happy to see they’re thriving. Momenta made a small splash upon their founding several years ago. The team came from Microsoft Research Asia, where they developed ResNet, still one of the foundational architectures for deep neural networks.

Momenta gets very little press in the US, probably due to the lack of a US presence. Their headquarters is in Beijing, and their only foreign office is in Stuttgart, Germany. Nonetheless, they have been and apparently still are one of the premier Chinese autonomous vehicle startups.

Unusually for an autonomous startup, they are working on both driver assistance and fully autonomous technology. Their driver assistance products fall under the Mpilot product umbrella, and their fully autonomous technology is marketed as MSD (“Momenta Self-Driving”?).

Helpfully, they have an English-language website, although it’s a little barebones and a little bit of the text has not been translated from Chinese.

The language barrier may keep them under the radar in the US for now, but they’re worth keeping an eye on.

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