Pony.ai begins autonomous road tests in California

  • June 22, 2021
  • William Payne

Autonomous driving startup Pony.ai has begun testing self-driving vehicles in California. The company is already conducting self driving tests in the Chinese city of Guangzhou.

The company claims that it is the first to deploy fully self-driving vehicles on public roads in three cities in the world’s two largest transportation markets.

The tests in California are carried out on public roads in Fremont and Milpitas. 

The company has been issued with a driverless test license by California for a fleet of six autonomous vehicles and a total coverage of over 100 square kilometres.

As U.S. cities gradually reopen Pony.ai hopes to resume its Robotaxi service to the residents of the Californian city of Irvine this summer and plans to bring the completely driverless service to the public in 2022.

“Completely driverless tests are crucial for achieving complete autonomy and are essential for the accelerated realization of our ambitious ideas,” said James Peng, CEO and founder of Pony.ai. “As we continued to grow, we also expanded our responsibilities to the public and adopted contactless delivery services during the California pandemic last year and are now fighting the new COVID-19 outbreak in Guangzhou.”

Pony.ai has been working with the city of Fremont for over a year in the fight against COVID-19, providing a grocery delivery service to vulnerable populations. The company also partnered with Yamibuy in southern California to offer Irvine residents an autonomous, contactless, last-mile delivery service.

“In Guangzhou, a fleet of 14 autonomous vehicles transports medical equipment, food and medical personnel on site day and night. At Pony.ai we always have social responsibility in our hearts and put the communities in which we operate at the center of everything we do, ”Peng said.