Pony.ai has launched its autonomous ride-sharing fleet in China. It is the first company to launch self-driving car rides on city roads to the general public in China.
The launch took place at an event in Nansha where the attendees were able to experience Pony.ai’s fully self-driving cars on a 2.8km route (roughly 1.7 miles). The company showcased six cars at the event: Four Lincoln MKZs (large four-door sedan) and Two GAC Chuanqis (compact SUV)
In addition to trial rides, the event also consisted of a signing ceremony that solidified a strategic partnership between the company and China’s second-largest carmaker, Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC Group). The company has established it headquarters in Nansha, Guangzhou.
According to the strategic partnership between Pony.ai and GAC Group will work closely to make progress in research, development, and manufacturing. The two companies will collaborate in four key areas. These four areas include:
- further development of self-driving technology,
- autonomous vehicle operationalization,
- broader mobility development, and
- capital partnership.
The company claims that the autonomous cars have undergone rigorous road tests covering thousands of kilometers in distance. Within the span of three short months, the autonomous driving platform has learned to deal with unique road scenarios such as congested city streets, inclement weather, and unexpected road behavior more typical of an urban Chinese driving environment. These scenarios have pushed the Pony.ai team to further enhance and refine their algorithms, creating a more sophisticated AI system that is capable of handling more complex road conditions.
Founded in late 2016, Pony.ai aims to build the safest and most reliable self-driving technology and deliver it on a global scale. It’s fully self-developed software algorithms enable a vehicle to accurately perceive its surroundings, predict what others will do, and maneuver itself accordingly. Pony.ai recently has received a funding of $112M.