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Chinese autonomous truck startup Inceptio raises $120 million from CATL, others

FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a face mask walks past a logo of autonomous truck startup Inceptio Technology at its office in Beijing, China April 16, 2020. Picture taken April 16, 2020. REUTERS/Yilei Sun

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China's Inceptio Technology, a startup developing self-driving trucks, said on Monday it has raised $120 million in its latest funding led by top Chinese electric vehicle battery maker CATL 300750.SZ.

The funding comes six months after a $100 million funding in April. Logistics firm GLP, Inceptio’s key strategic investor G7 and Nio Capital also invested in the new funding, Inceptio said in a statement. It did not disclose its valuation.

CATL, which supplies Volkswagen VOWG_p.DE and Tesla TSLA.O, is working with truck makers to develop a business model for electric trucks using its battery-swapping technologies.

Inceptio is now focusing on level 3 autonomous technologies, which refer to drivers being able to turn their attention away from driving tasks but still requires them to respond immediately in some scenarios. It has partnerships with Dongfeng Motor 0489.HK and Sinotruk Hong Kong Ltd 3808.HK.

The truck manufacturing industry is expected to be an earlier adopter of autonomous driving technology than passenger vehicle manufacturing as driving on motorways is more predictable than on busy city streets.

In China, the world's biggest auto market, Inceptio faces competition from TuSimple, which has a partnership with Volkswagen's Traton commercial truck unit, and Toyota-backed 7203.T Pony.ai, which is developing autonomous trucks with FAW. [SASACJ.UL]

Reporting by Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh; Editing by Susan Fenton

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