Just a few corporations are beginning to supply geographically restricted robotaxi service in China, most notably Baidu and AutoX. Now you can add Pony.ai to the combo, form of. Its robotaxis simply received accepted for testing from the Beijing Clever Related Automobile Coverage Pilot Zone.
To start, Pony.ai will check 10 robotaxis — utterly driverless — “in difficult city 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 gained’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 section, Pony.ai will ultimately get permission to deploy robotaxis for business 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 searching for first-mover benefit so that may in can crack the “commercially aggressive self-driving expertise.” Right here’s a bit extra in regards to the robotaxi developments and guidelines in Beijing: “Over the previous 12 months, the Beijing Clever Related Automobile Coverage Pilot Zone has introduced quite a lot of industry-leading autonomous driving insurance policies in succession. In October 2021, the pilot zone opened up autonomous driving unmanned highway 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) ‘totally driverless’. The issuance of this allow represents that autonomous testing in Beijing has entered the third stage of ‘totally driverless’. To enter this third stage, AV check autos have to have met strict technical and operational necessities comparable to check mileage and disengagement charge; Pony.ai’s ten check autos efficiently handed the exams with none issues of safety.” We’ll see how properly Pony.ai’s self-driving autos do that in 2023.
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