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Pony.ai to test self-driving cars in Shanghai · TechNode


Chinese self-driving startup Pony.ai will begin testing self-driving cars in Shanghai as part of a government push for global leadership in the development of autonomous vehicle technology.

Pony.ai will work with city regulators to deploy a self-driving fleet for test drives on public roads in northwestern Jiading district, the company announced Saturday along with the Shanghai municipal government during the annual World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC).

The company did not disclose the number of cars in the fleet or project timeline.

The AV upstart, with headquarters in Silicon Valley and the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, was valued upwards of $3 billion after securing earlier this year $462 million in a Series B led by Japanese auto giant Toyota. The Pony.ai fleet of more than 100 vehicles has traveled a total of more than 2.5 million kilometers (around 1.6 million miles) in China and the US combined, around a tenth of what Google’s self-driving unit Waymo has logged.

The move will thrust the AV unicorn squarely in the Chinese self-driving race. Mobility giant Didi as well as AutoX, a rival company backed by Alibaba, are piloting autonomous ride-hailing services in Shanghai. The three companies are currently the rising stars in China’s AV competition, and are ranked within the top 10 for self-driven miles in California’s annual self-driving report.

Pony.ai’s Shanghai debut will come just two weeks after Didi began offering rides to members of its early rider program within a geo-fenced area of around 100 square kilometers (39 square miles) in Jiading district.



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Written by Aakash Malu

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