Xiaomi is currently running tests on 140 electric vehicles (EVs) across China for autonomous driving, CEO Lei Jun said on Thursday (Aug 11).
The news marks the latest benchmark for the smartphone maker, which announced last year it would enter the competitive EV sector and challenge established brands and younger tech companies.
Speaking at a livestreamed company event, Lei said the company had 500 staff devoted solely to developing autonomous driving technology for its upcoming car and had put 3.3 billion yuan (S$669.8 million) towards the initiative.
At the event, Lei also unveiled a humanoid robot dubbed CyberOne, weighing 52 kg and measuring 177 cm tall, although it was not ready for mass production.
Many other Chinese companies are investing in self-driving technology, including ride-hailing giant Didi Global and search engine provider Baidu.
Earlier this week, the latter company became the first firm in China to obtain permits to operate fully-driverless taxi on open roads.
Lei Jun co-founded Xiaomi in 2010, and quickly turned it into one of the top-selling Android smartphone brands both in China and later globally.
In 2021, Lei announced that Xiaomi would enter the EV market, a foray he said would mark his last major entrepreneurial endeavour.
The company committed to bringing its cars to mass production in the first half of 2024. Earlier this year, the company started construction on its first car factory in Beijing. Reuters