Date: August 4, 2023 — Toyota Motor Corporation, the Japanese automotive and its partner Pony.ai, an autonomous driving technology company, have announced to mass produce robotaxis in China. Robotaxis will be produced an investment of 1 billion yuan ($139 million).
Under the agreement, Toyota will provide its expertise in automobile manufacturing, engineering, and global supply chain management. Meanwhile, Pony.ai will contribute its cutting-edge autonomous driving technology and experience in real-world testing and deployment of robotaxi fleets.
Pony.ai stated that, “This year will see the establishment of the new firm, which will also include the joint venture between Toyota and the Chinese government-owned Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC), which will employ Pony to build vehicles.”
Both Toyota and Pony.ai are committed to adhering to local regulations and safety standards throughout the production and deployment process. Their aim includes close collaboration with government authorities for seamless integration of autonomous ride-hailing into transportation networks. They prioritize working alongside government to smoothly integrate autonomous ride-hailing services with existing transport systems.
Since joining forces with Pony.ai in 2019, Toyota has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in the startup. The move, according to Peng Jun, CEO of Pony.ai, will contribute in the growth of the connected car sector. Robotaxi services have been introduced in Beijing, Silicon Valley, Shanghai and Guangzhou by Pony.Ai.
Last month, Toyota made a significant shift toward electric vehicles, vowing to accelerate the creation of “smart cockpits” tailored for the Chinese market. The move aims to stay competitive against fierce local rivals by enhancing domestic design and development.
The joint venture signifies a major leap in the autonomous vehicle sector, with far-reaching implications for the global automotive market. It represents a significant step forward, promising to shape the industry and impact the worldwide automotive landscape. As the project progresses, more details regarding the timeline for the mass production and rollout of the robotaxi fleet are expected to be unveiled.