Pony.ai a global autonomous driving company, announced that it is the first and only company to receive a permit for fully driverless autonomous vehicle passenger transport in Guangzhou. In an 803 square kilometer (310 square mile) area in Guangzhou’s Nansha District, riders will have the opportunity to enjoy safe, convenient and comfortable fully driverless robotaxi services by placing orders through the PonyPilot+ app to locations such as high-speed rail stations, subway stops, parks, and business and residential districts.
Using the app, riders can choose their destination, and before the vehicle arrives can use the app to customize the color of the vehicle’s welcome light. After the vehicle arrives, riders only need to scan the QR code on the rear right door to unlock the vehicle and buckle their seat belt to start their driverless journey.
Guangzhou, one of China’s four Tier-1 Cities, was one of the first cities in China to issue driverless test permits. Pony.ai started driverless testing in Guangzhou in June 2021 and has accumulated nearly two years of safe driverless experience in the city with experience testing in extreme weather conditions such as rain and thunderstorms, and heavy fog, as well as other complex road scenarios such as narrow roads and intersections.
Pony.ai has now received fully driverless, public-facing robotaxi permits in both Beijing and Guangzhou. On March 17, Pony.ai received a permit for fully driverless robotaxi in the pilot zone in Yizhuang, Beijing, one of only two companies to receive a driverless permit in Beijing.
In addition, Pony.ai’s next generation robotaxi model equipped with its sixth-generation self-driving software and hardware systems, based on the seven-seat Toyota Sienna Autono-MaaS (S-AM) model, has obtained test licenses in Beijing and Guangzhou and is testing on the road. While initial testing of the S-AM model vehicles include a safety driver, it has passed the exams and expert review required for a driverless permit, and it is anticipated that S-AM model driverless robotaxi services will commence in the near future.
As of April 2023, Pony.ai has accumulated more than 21 million kilometers (over 13 million miles) of autonomous driving globally, more than one million kilometers (over 621,000 miles) of driverless testing, and nearly 200,000 fee-charging robotaxi orders.