Pony.ai, an autonomous driving technology company, introduced its newly designed sensing platform in collaboration with Luminar Technologies, Inc., an automotive Lidar hardware and software technology company. Pony.ai announced it has driven more than five million kilometers across an operational coverage area of over 850 km² and has provided more than 220,000 Robotaxi rides.
Pony.ai is set to deploy automotive-grade production autonomous fleets in 2023 globally. The next-generation fleet will seamlessly integrate Luminar’s Iris and feature a multi-sensor 360-degree configuration and a slimmest profile roofline at just 10cm off of the vehicle roof. The goal of the partnership is to increase safe, autonomous driving in complex urban environments with an integrated sensor design that leads advanced development to production scale.
“Partnering with Luminar is a critical enabling milestone for Pony.ai as we build our next-generation system and prepare for large-scale series production,” said James Peng, CEO and Founder of Pony.ai. “Luminar is in a league of their own when it comes to lidar and shares our belief that delivering autonomous mobility globally will enable a safe and sustainable future. We’re excited to realize that vision together with them.”
The partnership followed Pony.ai’s expansion of its Robotaxi service across five cities in China and the U.S., including Guangzhou, Shanghai, Beijing, Irvine and Fremont, CA. Pony.ai began testing China’s first Robotaxi service, PonyPilot, in late 2018 in Guangzhou, and in 2019 became the first company to roll out a public-facing Robotaxi service in California. It is the only self-driving company with large-scale deployment across five cities internationally and a fleet of over 200 autonomous vehicles.
“Pony.ai’s vision to create a dynamic, vehicle-agnostic autonomous driving system is very impressive, and it has already demonstrated a clear leadership position for Robotaxi development in China and beyond,” said Austin Russell, Founder and CEO of Luminar. “We’re leveraging the full extent of the technology and product development work we’ve accomplished over the years, and directly re-applying it to Pony.ai’s platform and fleet. This partnership marks a significant milestone towards the realization of safe autonomous Robotaxi services in the years to come.”
“Today, we’re finally seeing the line blur between what we’ve known as beautiful consumer car design and the look of a Robotaxi,” said Jason Wojack, Luminar’s SVP of Product Development. “This is a true moment in the evolution of vehicle design and innovation.”