Nio Inc – ADR (NYSE: NIO), which has made a strong comeback in the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, is leaving no stone unturned to keep the momentum going.What Happened: The Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer is planning to embark on in-house R&D to develop computing chips for autonomous driving, the Chinese news outlet 36Kr reported, citing industry insiders.The plan is still in a nascent stage and is being personally supervised by Nio's founder chairman and CEO William Li Bin, the report said.Bin is working on the final structure for the project and has been on the lookout for a technical leader with a chip background, 36Kr said. The company has reportedly set up a separate hardware team, internally named Smart HW.Related Link: JPMorgan Sees Nio As Attractive Long-Term Bet In Fast-Growing Chinese EV Market The capital investment for project would range from 1 billion yuan ($150 million) to $1 billion, depending on the extent of the research."NIO has been investing in self-driving. As for the specific technological route and relevant details about hardware and software R&D, information will be communicated on particular aspects when the time is right," a company spokesperson told Benzinga on Thursday. Nio cannot respond to individual rumors one-by-one, he said. Why It's Important: Tesla developed in-house system-on-chips in 2019.The internally developed chips are a part of the company's full self-driving computer, and each of the chips is capable of performing up to 72 trillion operations per second.Nio is looking to follow in the footsteps of the industry leader in boasting a vertically integrated unit for manufacturing EVs.NIO Price Action: At last check, Nio shares were down 2.87% at $27.07. Related Link: Nio's 4th Annual 'Nio Day' Coming In January: What Investors Need To Know Photo courtesy of Nio. See more from Benzinga * Options Trades For This Crazy Market: Get Benzinga Options to Follow High-Conviction Trade Ideas * Revisiting Nio's Dream Run This Week * Nio's 4th Annual 'Nio Day' Coming In January: What Investors Need To Know(C) 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.