Pony.ai, an autonomous driving technology company, became the first of its kind to obtain a taxi license in China. Pony.ai has been awarded a permit to operate 100 autonomous vehicles as traditional taxis in Nansha, Guangzhou.
From May 2022, Pony.ai will start charging fares in the entire 800 square kilometres of Nansha with 100 robotaxis and intends to expand the scale and scope of service to other areas of Guangzhou to benefit residents.
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Presently, Pony.ai robotaxi retains a safety driver; the company expects to remove the driver over the short to intermediate time frame. It plans to expand its commercialised robotaxi footprint to the other two Tier-1 cities in China next year and add more cities as part of Pony.ai’s mass commercialisation planned for 2024/2025. It currently has autonomous vehicle testing and operations in all four Tier-1 cities of China and California.
James Peng, co-founder and CEO of Pony.ai., said that the company is China’s first autonomous vehicle company to receive a taxi license, which shows its technological strength and ability to operate robotaxi. “We will expand the scale of our services, provide quality travel experiences to the public in Guangzhou, create an industry benchmark for robotaxi services and continue to lead the commercialisation of robotaxis and robotrucks,” he added.
Founded in late 2016, Pony.ai has pioneered autonomous mobility technologies. The company has partnered with leading OEMs, including Toyota, FAW Group, and GAC Group.