Autonomous driving company Pony.ai, announced today that it has been authorized to conduct driverless tests on public roads in China’s capital city, Beijing.
Pony.ai was founded at the end of 2016. The company is currently valued at $5.3 billion and some of its major investors include Toyota Motor Corporation, Sequoia Capital China, and IDG Capital.
Prior to receiving this driverless test permit, Pony.ai received a permit to conduct tests on certain sections of Beijing highways in July 2021. The company was among the first to obtain this permit.
In Beijing, Pony.ai is now authorized to conduct driverless testing in an area of around 20 square kilometers in a pilot zone for autonomous driving vehicles. The area covers major subway stations, residential areas, and tech parks.
“Pony.ai is well on track to build a safe and reliable ‘Virtual Driver,’ which paves the way for future mass deployment,” says Ning Zhang, VP, and Head of Pony.ai’s Beijing R&D Center.
Since the beginning of this year, Pony.ai has obtained unmanned test licenses or permits in California, Guangzhou and Beijing, making it the first company to obtain unmanned test licenses for autonomous driving in these three cities.
Pony.ai has formed partnerships with leading OEMs including Toyota, Hyundai, GAC Group, FAW Group, etc. At present, Pony.ai’s autonomous driving vehicles have been tested or operated in Beijing and Guangzhou in China, as well as Fremont, Irvine and Milpitas in California.
Pony.ai’s unmanned driving system enables passenger cars to realize L4 autonomous driving in complex weather and urban scenes, such as morning and evening peaks, unprotected intersections, narrow roads, and temporary construction areas.