On September 21, Caocao Mobility, a Geely-backed online ride-hailing platform, announced a new strategic cooperation involving Geely’s Smart Driving Center and autonomous driving startup Pony.ai, aimed at building an open commercial operation platform for intelligent driving.
According to the agreement, the tripartite cooperation will be based on Caocao Mobility’s vehicles and huge amounts of data, Geely’s Smart Driving Center’s technology, data, interaction ability, as well as Pony.ai’s leading intelligent driving technology and R&D abilities, promoting commercial applications and upgrades for robotaxis.
After Pony.ai’s robotaxi was connected to Caocao Mobility’s ride-hailing software in August, this three-party strategic cooperation further opened up cooperation on technology, application and data. Based on the advantages of the three parties, the robotaxi team will be established this year and put into operation in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province.
The firms expect to operate a robotaxi fleet in Suzhou for commercial operations by December 2022, and plan to achieve a commercial closed-loop spanning mass production and operations in the next few years in many cities across China.
User experience and requirements are becoming the core drivers of intelligent driving technology iteration. Mo Luyi, the vice president of Pony.ai, said, “We have a comprehensive layout in China and the United States. Our robotaxis cover Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, and have been tested millions of kilometers of simulation every day. This strategic cooperation will help us to accumulate real data and change the software system.”
The rapid progress of the cooperation is due to investments by Caocao Mobility and Geely in the field of intelligent driving since last year. In early September last year, Caocao Mobility held a press conference in Suzhou to officially announce the strategy of the new car, new power and new ecosystem. Since then, Caocao has carried out cooperation with Pony.ai and Geely’s Smart Driving Center, contributing to the launch of this three-way cooperation.
According to CICC, robotaxis are expected to change the mobility ecology and create the “mobility as a service” (MaaS) model. The global market for robotaxis is expected to reach $2.44 trillion by 2030.
While robotaxi players are expanding their businesses, they are also actively seeking partners. GAC Group’s mobile mobility brand ONTIME showed its robotaxi operations technology platform publicly for the first time in June, and has completed system and data docking with the GAC Research Institute, Pony.ai and WeRide. Self-driving vehicle technology firm QCraft recently joined hands with ride-hailing platform T3 Go to launch the open operations of robotaxis in Suzhou.