A number of firms are beginning to supply geographically restricted robotaxi service in China, most notably Baidu and AutoX. Now you can add Pony.ai to the combo, kind of. Its robotaxis simply bought permitted for testing from the Beijing Clever Linked Car Coverage Pilot Zone.
To start, Pony.ai will check 10 robotaxis — fully driverless — “in difficult city site visitors situations throughout a 20 sq. kilometer (7.7 sq. mile) space within the pilot zone in Yizhuang, Beijing.” Whereas robotaxi testing usually entails security drivers sitting within the car to take over if wanted, that received’t be the case right here. There’ll solely be security officers monitoring remotely when the vehicles are in service.
If all goes properly on this testing part, Pony.ai will finally get permission to deploy robotaxis for industrial service in Beijing, and maybe extra broadly.
Beijing isn’t the house of Pony.ai’s first rodeo, although. The 6-year-old self-driving startup has additionally been testing in Guangzhou, China.
Pony.ai has partnerships with Toyota, SAIC, SANY, FAW Group, and GAC Group. It’s on the lookout for first-mover benefit (or one thing like that) in order that it may well capitalize on “commercially aggressive self-driving know-how” within the coming years. Right here’s a bit extra concerning the robotaxi developments and guidelines in Beijing: “Over the previous 12 months, the Beijing Clever Linked Car Coverage Pilot Zone has introduced numerous industry-leading autonomous driving insurance policies in succession. In October 2021, the pilot zone opened up autonomous driving unmanned street exams for the primary time and divided ‘autonomous’ testing into three levels: 1) ‘no person behind the steering wheel however with a security operator within the passenger seat’, 2) ‘no person within the entrance row, however with a security operator within the again row’, and three) ‘absolutely driverless’. The issuance of this allow represents that autonomous testing in Beijing has entered the third stage of ‘absolutely driverless’. To enter this third stage, AV check automobiles have to have met strict technical and operational necessities similar to check mileage and disengagement fee; Pony.ai’s ten check automobiles efficiently handed the exams with none issues of safety.” We’ll see how properly Pony.ai’s self-driving automobiles do that in 2023.
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