Pony.ai has become the first autonomous driving company to obtain a taxi licence in China.
Pony.ai has been awarded a permit to operate 100 autonomous taxis in Nansha, Guangzhou. In May, Pony.ai will start charging fares based on standard taxi pricing in Guangzhou for daytime and nighttime taxi services. A safety driver will be present in all Pony.ai robotaxis, but the company expects to remove this requirement in the near future.
“Being China's first autonomous vehicle company to receive a taxi license is a testament to Pony.ai's technological strength and ability to operate robotaxi services. We will expand the scale of our services, provide quality travel experiences to the public in Guangzhou, create an industry benchmark for robotaxi services and continue to lead the commercialisation of robotaxis and robotrucks”
To qualify for the licence, Pony.ai had to pass stringent safety and vehicle qualification tests. The national inspection institutions required the company to complete at least 24 months of autonomous driving testing with at least 1 million kilometres of testing mileage and at least 200,000 kilometres of testing within Guangzhou’s test area, without liability in traffic accidents.
“The inclusion of autonomous vehicles in the unified and standardised management of taxis proves that both government policy and the public are increasingly accepting robotaxis as a form of everyday transportation, recognising the ride experience and technical stability of Pony.ai's robotaxi.”
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