Chinese self-driving startup Pony.ai has voluntarily suspended the testing of autonomous vehicles in California after a minor collision during daily tests, Sina Tech reported on Monday .
Pony.ai is excluded from the list of road test licenses for automated driving released by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This license list once included eight manufacturers, including leading American manufacturers such as Waymo and Cruise, and Chinese-funded enterprises such as Baidu Apollo and Pony.ai.
An accident report available on the state’s DMV website suggests that at 10:50 a.m. on October 28, the unmanned vehicle developed by Pony.ai, based on electric vehicle brand Kona, was tested on roads in Fremont, where the firm’s headquarters are located. The car turned right at an intersection and quickly changed lanes to the left for a left turn. But after changing lanes, the vehicle headed to the middle isolation belt on the road and hit a small road sign there, causing slight damage to the front of the vehicle.
After the accident, Pony.ai immediately informed Fremont Police Department of the specific situation, cooperated with the local road traffic department to repair the damaged road signs, and then submitted the accident report to the DMV within one working day.
Pony.ai told Sina Tech, “After the accident, we immediately conducted a comprehensive investigation of the incident and voluntarily stopped the testing of driverless vehicle in California. In addition, we reported to the DMV immediately and are still in close communication and cooperation with it.”
Pony.ai suspended the road tests of all unmanned driving. This is partly because Pony.ai is cautious about technology, and is also directly due to the gradual tightening of the regulatory environment for unmanned vehicles in California and across the U.S.
The past few years saw several road traffic accidents involving assisted and automated driving in Silicon Valley, California, which have aroused public concern and the attention of regulatory authorities. At the end of June this year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a new regulation, requiring all manufacturers of assisted driving and automated driving above L2 to provide reports within one day of the accident and update the accident reports within 10 days.