Pony.ai Given Green Light to Carry Passengers in its Robotaxis in China
【Summary】Autonomous driving startup Pony.ai, which was founded in Fremont, California with the goal of building the safest and most reliable autonomous driving technology, has been granted permission by local authorities in Beijing to pick up passengers in its robotaxis.
Autonomous driving startup Pony.ai, which was founded in Fremont, California with the goal of building the safest and most reliable autonomous driving technology, has been granted permission from local authorities in Beijing to pick up passengers in its robotaxis, Chinese news outlet Gasgoo reports.
The move to allow Pony.ai to carry passengers in its autonomous vehicles paves the way for other companies working on self-driving technology to expand their testing and deploy more driverless vehicles to carry passengers.
Although Pony.ai was granted permission to test its self-driving vehicles on public roads in China last year, it was not permitted to carry passengers until now.
According to the company's post on the Chinese social media platform WeChat, Pony.ai will test its robotaxi fleet on the designated routes in Beijing's Haidian District and Yizhuang in the southeast part of the city. Passengers will be able to hail a self-driving car and will be picked up and dropped off in designated areas for the tests.
Pony.ai has been testing its Robotaxi pilot service dubbed "PonyPilot" since late 2018 in Guangzhou, China. The company was the first to launch a robotaxi operation and offer self-driving car rides to the general public in China.
In November 2019, Pony.ai also became the first company to roll out a robotaxi pilot service in the U.S. in Irvine, California. The company partnered with automaker Hyundai Motor Co to build a self-driving system for Hyundai vehicles.
Pony.ai alos partnered with New York-based transportation startup Via with "BotRide'', an on-demand, autonomous taxi service operating on public roads in California. The BotRide service using Pony.ai's technology is currently underway in Irvine, California. The pilot serves hundreds of riders per day.
Pony.ai also partnered with the city of Fremont, California in February on an autonomous ride-hailing pilot for city employees. Fremont is best known as the home of Tesla's U.S. assembly factory.
China is actively moving to commercialize and become a world leader in autonomous driving technologies, advanced mobility and smart cities, partly to help alleviate urban traffic congestion, especially in the Chinese capital city of Beijing. The designated test areas for self-driving vehicles and related technology is rapidly growing in Beijing.
Beijing has designated 151 routes for autonomous vehicle tests so far, equalling a distance of about 503.68km (312 miles), Gasgoo reports. The 40-square-kilometer testing ground at Beijing Economic Technological Development Area allows companies to test self-driving vehicles and robotaxis.
According to a report released by Beijing Innovation Center for Mobility Intelligent (BICMI) on March 2, a total of 77 vehicles deployed by 13 companies have undergone the road tests of autonomous driving in Beijing from the beginning of 2018 to the end of 2019. The 13 companies drove a total of 1.04 million kilometers (621,371 miles).
Among the 13 companies, Pony.ai was the second highest in terms of the overall test mileage completed with a fleet of 7 vehicles driving 75,372 miles. Leading the testing was China's internet giant Baidu, with a fleet of 52 vehicles accumulating 893,900 km (555,443 miles).
In February, Pony.ai announced a $400 million investment from Japanese automaker Toyota. Pony.ai and Toyota plan to accelerate the development and deployment of autonomous vehicles. In addition to co-developing autonomous driving technology, Pony.ai and Toyota will look beyond self-driving vehicles and explore additional mobility services.
The latest investment from Toyota raises Pony.ai's valuation to just over $3 billion.
resource from: Gasgoo
Originally hailing from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry here in Silicon Valley. He has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology.
Ford is Testing a New Robotic Charging Station to Assist Drivers of EVs With Disabilities
Ford Raises the Prices of the F-150 Lightning Electric Pickup Due to Rising Raw Material Costs
The BMW 7-Series to Feature HD Live Maps From HERE Technologies for Hands-Free Highway Driving in North America at Speeds up to 80 MPH
AutoX to Use the 'Eyeonic Vision Sensor' from California-based SiLC Technologies for its Robotaxi Fleet in China
LG Develops ‘Invisible’ Speaker Sound Technology That Could Revolutionize In-Vehicle Audio
Researchers at South Korea’s Chung-Ang University Develop a ‘Meta-Reinforcement’ Machine Learning Algorithm for Traffic Lights to Improve Vehicle Throughput
Zeekr’s New 009 Electric Passenger Van is the World’s First EV to Feature CATL’s Advanced ‘Qilin’ Battery With a Range of 510 Miles
Redwood Materials is Building an Electric Vehicle Battery Recycling Facility in South Carolina
- Prices For Used EVs Continue to Rise as Gas Cars Drop
- Hyundai to Launch Autonomous Ride-Hailing Service in South Korea
- Hyundai Unveils the IONIQ 6 ‘Electric Streamliner’, its Bold Sedan With a 380-Mile Range and 18-Minute Charging Time
- SK Inc. Invests $100 Million in North Carolina-based EV Charging Hardware Developer Atom Power
- Electric Hypercar Developer Rimac Raises $500 Million Euro in Series D Round, Investors Include Porsche, Softbank and Goldman Sachs
- 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk Now PHEV Only
- Facing Rising Production Costs, Automakers Ford, GM, Stellantis and Toyota Urge Congress to Lift the Cap on the $7,500 EV Tax Credit
- Tesla May Build its Next Factory in South Korea, According to the Country’s Presidential Office
- Tesla’s Enhanced Autopilot Returns With Some Features From 'Full Self-Driving'
- The Tesla Model Y and Model 3 Take the 1st and 2nd Place Spots in the Annual Cars.com ‘American-Made Index’