Pony.ai, a global leader in autonomous driving technology, has announced a joint venture with Toyota Motor (China) Investment Co., Ltd. (TMCI) and GAC Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. (GTMC). The collaboration aims to expedite the mass production and large-scale deployment of Level 4 (L4) autonomous vehicles, also known as robotaxis. The joint venture company is set to be established in 2023, with an investment exceeding RMB 1 billion (approximately USD 139.2 million).
Why It Matters
This joint venture signifies a significant step towards fully commercializing autonomous mobility. By combining Pony.ai’s cutting-edge autonomous driving technology and robotaxi operations experience with Toyota’s renowned vehicle technologies and GTMC’s advanced production experience, the venture will provide the capacity for scaled-up robotaxi services. This collaboration is expected to propel the entire autonomous vehicle industry into a new development phase.
- GTMC will supply Pony.ai with Toyota-branded battery electric vehicles equipped with Toyota’s vehicle redundant systems suitable for L4 autonomous driving development.
- These vehicles will be integrated with Pony.ai’s advanced autonomous driving technology and will operate on Pony.ai’s robotaxi network platform, PonyPilot+.
- The joint venture will continue to build upon the long-standing collaboration between Pony.ai and Toyota, which began in August 2019 with the joint development of autonomous vehicles in China.
- In April 2023, the Toyota Sienna Autono-MaaS (S-AM) vehicle, equipped with Pony.ai’s sixth-generation autonomous driving software and hardware system, began public road testing in Beijing and Guangzhou.
The joint venture between Pony.ai, TMCI, and GTMC is set to revolutionize the autonomous vehicle industry by accelerating the mass production and deployment of fully driverless robotaxis. This collaboration will provide safe and convenient robotaxi services for riders and stimulate the full commercialization of advanced autonomous mobility. Currently, Pony.ai operates a combined fleet of around 200 Toyota and Lexus brand robotaxis in China’s Tier-1 cities (Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen) for road tests and public-facing robotaxi operations.