HT Aero, an city air mobility (UAM) firm that’s an affiliate of Chinese language electrical car producer Xpeng, has introduced a $500 million Sequence A increase. The corporate will use the funds to accumulate top-tier expertise, advance R&D and “proceed to realize airworthiness provision and certification” because it advances in direction of the following technology of its automobiles, based on Deli Zhao, founder and president of the corporate.
“Our next-generation mannequin will probably be a completely built-in flying car and vehicle, designed for each low-altitude air journey and highway driving,” Zhao mentioned in a press release. “We’re planning for an official roll-out in 2024.”
HT Aero lately revealed its fifth-generation flying car, the Xpeng X2, which might deal with autonomous flight take-off and touchdown for sure metropolis situations, back-end scheduling, charging and flight management. The corporate says it desires to supply UAM options for particular person shoppers, slightly than companies, which would definitely be according to Xpeng’s targets.
Xpeng, together with IDG Capital and 5Y Capital, led the funding spherical, which HT Aero says is the most important single-tranche fundraising within the low-altitude flying car area in Asia. A consortium of buyers together with Sequoia China, Jap Bell Capital, GGV Capital, GL Ventures and Yunfeng Capital additionally participated within the spherical. Xpeng is the one strategic investor out of a gaggle of purely monetary buyers, which indicators that the EV producer is getting extra critical about proudly owning the way forward for mobility.
As a part of its funding in HT Aero, Xpeng will be capable of assist share data with the corporate on autonomous car know-how, one in all its strengths, in addition to assist with logistics and provide chain administration. HT also can leverage Xpeng’s manufacturing capabilities, a spokesperson for the corporate advised TechCrunch.
HT Aero’s UAM automobiles will even have an element to play in Xpeng’s mobility ecosystem that goals to combine driving and flying. Xpeng’s CEO, He Xiaopeng, plans to enter additional element about that ecosystem on the firm’s Tech Day occasion, to be held on October 24, together with different updates into autonomous know-how, flying automobiles, supercharging know-how and robotic unicorns.
Honda Motor Firm (HMC) additionally lately introduced plans to combine completely different types of mobility into one ecosystem. Marcos Frommer, supervisor of company communications at HMC, revealed varied situations by which future shoppers can faucet into one app to guide the whole lot from robotaxis to eVTOLs.
“Our mission has all the time been to discover environment friendly, safer and carbon-neutral mobility options that transcend sensible EVs,” mentioned Xiaopeng in a press release. “What we’re seeing is the combination of the three driving forces of sensible mobility – disruptive know-how, new sources of power and mass manufacturing. We’ll embrace this chance, which is unprecedented within the historical past of recent transportation.”