This is How Asian Startups are Driving the Autonomous Cars Trend

A car driving us wherever we want is no longer the theme of a science fiction

By Ajeet Singh


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The Chinese technological market is well known for its diversity. Tech giants are vested in everything from social media, payment platforms to online delivery services. The latest trend they're looking into is autonomous driving.

This highly untapped market is sure to see a swarm of investors as the country is putting in place infrastructure to support autonomous driving. The interest in autonomous cars comes a few weeks after California passed laws that allow the testing of these cars on public roads. Hangzhou, a city in China has also recently announced that it is in the process of making a special road for such automobiles.

Businesses Exploiting Autonomous Cars in Hangzhou, China


This seems to play into the plans of Alibaba, which has its main headquarters within the city. China's largest online retailer recently released a statement that says they've been conducting autonomous driving tests. The company says that they are almost ready to move to open road tests.

Baidu and Tencent

It is no surprise that China-based search giant Baidu and gaming titan Tencent are also looking into venturing into the self-driving industry. These tech giants will face challenges from smaller startups looking to capitalize on this opportunity. This has led to the giants using their significant resources to recruit or acquire these firms. They also aim to use their automobiles prototypes and artificial intelligence developments to support their projects.

Benefits of Startups Investing in Autonomous Cars

Employment Opportunities

These tech giants and startups will have to hire a large number of employees to make up their autonomous driving development teams. Alibaba has an initial target of fifty engineers and a significant number of support staff. Startups will also provide employment opportunities to the Chinese population as they aim to compete with these tech giants.

Investment Opportunities

Entrepreneurs are sure to get into this market after the involved parties have perfected the autonomous cars. One could start a delivery business. It will be relatively easy as compared to now. This because the entrepreneur will not need many employees as drivers will be redundant.

One could also invest in the E-hailing business. All one would need is a functioning app and capital to acquire the autonomous cars. This seems plausible considering Tencent already has already developed an autonomous driving system for these cars.

Monetization of Data

Before autonomous cars become a norm on our roads, there will be a need for mobility data. Currently, companies like Moveco are the pioneers in relation to monetization of data. They acquire car related data from drivers and reward them. They acquire data such as mileage, vehicle condition, average driving speeds, traffic patterns, road conditions and information on the driving styles of their users.

They then share this information across the mobility sector.They pay their users for information provided in MOV tokens which is a form of digital currency. The users can redeem their MOV tokens with partners like Shell, Grab, and others.

Improve on Existing Factors

If the current crop of entrepreneurs in Asia looked into autonomous driving, they would find it easy to improve business aspects such as:

  • Improve Their Services or Product: for the logistics industry, autonomous cars present an opportunity to solve problems that customers endure. Autonomous cars will be using live geo-location metrics information to plot the optimum route. This will help improve delivery times and the general efficiency of the business.

  • Reduce Costs: autonomous cars will require fewer resources to be dedicated to maintenance when compared to existing modes of travel. This will leave the entrepreneur with enough resources to explore other income generating avenues. Other expenses such as warehousing and remuneration costs will be greatly reduced while efficiency will improve.

  • Improve Productivity: a big part of autonomous cars is that they'll make your business flourish. The overall production and operations of your business will be optimized.

The above factors have demonstrated how vital autonomous cars will be to businesses. Business aspects will be highly improved while dreaded ones like costs, limited. It is, therefore, a no-brainer that more and more entrepreneurs should get into this market, while there's still time.

Ajeet Singh

Freelance Writer

Ajeet has done Bachelors in Journalism and Mass Communication. He has extensive experience in community management, social media consultancy, child safety, and crisis management. 

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