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Image: Transit

Alliance Ventures, the venture capital division of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, has made two new strategic investments. Its latest is in Transit, a multi-modal transport app firm based in Montreal, Canada, which has produced an app functional in over 175 metropolitan areas around the world.

Transit’s app aggregates and maps real-time transportation data from modes including ride-hailing, bike- and scooter-sharing and different public transportation modes. It combines data from service providers and transit agencies with user crowdsourced data to track real-time location of vehicles, notify and direct users, and adjust estimated times of arrival.

Sam Vermette, chief executive of Transit, said in a statement: “New modes of mobility are entering the market at record speeds. It took decades for car-sharing to catch on. Now, e-bikes and scooters are being rolled out in weeks. This is an exciting time, as Transit helps people navigate their new mobility options. We look forward to working closely with Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi as Transit grows.”

François Dossa, Alliance global vice president, ventures and open innovation, added: “This investment, which will advance Transit’s efforts to make mobility seamless and accessible in cities, fits with the Alliance 2022 strategy to become a leader in robo-vehicle ride-hailing mobility services and a provider of vehicles for public transit use and car-sharing.”

Alliance also invests in autonomous driving

Alliance Ventures has also become the lead strategic investor in WeRide.ai (formerly JingChi.ai), which specializes in technology for Level 4 autonomous driving. This is the first Chinese investment for Alliance Ventures. Dossa said: “Autonomous systems are a key priority of the Alliance as we develop new mobility services. Our member companies are committed to introducing such technologies in key markets such as China, so we are delighted to be supporting WeRide.ai as it pioneers such full autonomous systems for the demanding Chinese market-place.”

WeRide.ai intends to get a fleet of 500 autonomous vehicles on the road in 2019 to clock up five million km of driving mileage; it has already accumulated over 60,000 km and served over 3000 passengers in tests so far. It will run operation and commercialization trials in Guangzhou and Anqing.