By Yilei Sun and David Kirton BEIJING / SHENZHEN, China (Reuters) – China’s SZ DJI Technology Co, the world’s largest drone maker, is assembling a team of engineers to work on autonomous driving technologies, based on jobs and people familiar with the company. strategy. The Shenzhen-based company is hiring engineers for automotive electronics, autonomous driving and car software, jobs on its website show. Three people said DJI plans to sell driver assistance technology, such as lidar sensors, a key component in autonomous cars, and packaged solutions for autonomous driving functions. All sources spoke on condition of anonymity as details are not yet public. DJI said it had no new announcements at this time. DJI has been developing lidar technology and cameras for years, added two of the sources. In 2020, Livox, a startup with links to DJI, showcased two lidar sensors for autonomous vehicles at a Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Chinese electric vehicle maker Xpeng Inc has said it will use Livox’s lidar technology for autonomous driving functions. DJI’s move comes as various hardware and software technology companies are racing to seize the autonomous future of the auto industry. Huawei Technologies, which makes communications machines and smartphones, has launched an automobile business unit and is developing sensors. Baidu (NASDAQ :), which has been working on autonomous driving technologies and smart vehicles, has partnered with Geely to build its own cars. DJI dominates the global small drone business with a 69% market share, according to consultancy DroneAnalyst. Research firm Frost & Sullivan estimated the market to be worth $ 8.4 billion last year. In December, the company was added to the list of entities by the US Department of Commerce, allegedly because its technology was used to facilitate human rights abuses in China.