Artificial Intelligence: Chinese Autonomous Driving Company Pony Gets Paid Robotaxi License For Beijing

November 30, 2021 | Artificial Intelligence, News
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Pony’s passenger car business now moves from testing to commercialization.

Autonomous driving technology company Pony.ai has been authorized to run paid autonomous robotaxi services in the Beijing Intelligent Networked Vehicle Policy Pilot Zone in southeastern Beijing, the company announced Monday. Significantly, Beijing, China’s capital, is the first Tier-1 city in China to permit chargeable autonomous driving for passengers. (BusinessWire)

However, Pony is licensed to operate the paid service within the confines of the PonyPilot+ commercialization pilot area which covers the central areas of Yizhuang (60 square kilometers / 23.1 square miles) with about 200 travel stations in residential areas, commercial centers, and science and technology parks. The service is authorized for hours operating from 8:30 am to 10:30 pm only.

Passengers can use the Pony robotaxis via the Pony mobile app as well as PonyHI, the in-car interface. They can view the cost of the ride in both, and pay for it by scanning the QR code through Alipay or WeChat.

Pony: The next stage in self-driving vehicles

“Supportive policies, development of safe technology, and public acceptance are the keys to accelerating commercialization of the autonomous driving industry, and Pony.ai has conducted abundant testing of the application scenarios and product forms of autonomous driving over the past five years,” said James Peng, Co-founder and CEO, in a statement.

“With the commencement of this new policy, we will be able to validate Pony.ai’s commercialization model. These permits mark the next stage in the development of autonomous driving technology,” he added.

According to Reuters, Chinese tech group Baidu Inc (NASDAQ: BIDU) was also approved last Thursday for paid driverless robotaxi services in Beijing.

Related Story: Chinese Driverless Company Pony.ai Raises $100M In Extended Round

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