Shanghai (Gasgoo)- Pony.ai recently announced that it became the first startup approved by Beijing’s authorities to test passenger-carrying autonomous vehicles on open roads.
According to a posting on the company's WeChat account, Pony.ai will test its “robotaxi” fleet on the designated routes in Beijing’s Haidian District and Yizhuang in the southeast suburbs of the city. Services like hailing self-driving cars, and picking up and dropping off passengers at fixed spots will be highlighted in the tests.
(Photo source: Pony.ai's WeChat account)
The move signifies that Pony.ai and even the whole industry have made a new headway in commercializing autonomous driving technologies and applications, said the startup. Based on the new progress, it wishes to offer Beijing future-oriented mobility solutions, helping the Chinese capital ease the urban traffic congestion, elevate the logistics efficiency and build a smart city.
Beijing has so far launched 151 routes for autonomous vehicle tests with a total distance about 503.68km. The 40-square-kilometer testing ground at Beijing Economic Technological Development Area allows applicants to test vehicles for such services and operations as robotaxi, passenger delivery, hourly car rental and formation driving.
On December 30, 2019, the megacity initiated the tests for self-driving car loaded with passengers or goods. On the same day, the Internet giant Baidu obtained license plates for carrying passengers in autonomous driving tests of 40 vehicles.
According to a report released by Beijing Innovation Center for Mobility Intelligent (BICMI) on March 2, a total of 77 vehicles deployed by 13 companies have undergone the road tests of autonomous driving in Beijing from the beginning of 2018 to the end of 2019, involving an aggregate testing range of 1.04 million kilometers.
Among the 13 applicants, Pony.ai was the runner-up in terms of the testing mileage. The championship was no doubt taken by Baidu whose 52 vehicles ran up to 893,900 kilometers.
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