For the first time in China, an autonomous driving platform presented alongside standard taxi and ride-hailing platforms
FREMONT, Calif. – Pony.ai, the leading global autonomous driving technology company, announced it is the first and only autonomous driving (AD) company to obtain a taxi license in China. Pony.ai was awarded a permit to operate 100 autonomous vehicles as traditional taxis in Nansha, Guangzhou. In May, Pony.ai will begin charging fares in the whole 800 square kilometers of Nansha with 100 robotaxis and plans to slowly grow the scale and scope of service to additional areas of Guangzhou to benefit more residents. Passengers can hail rides and pay for the service via the PonyPilot+ App. The robotaxis will work in both daytime and nighttime with service hours from 8:30 to 22:30 and with fares based on the standard taxi pricing in Guangzhou. While the Pony.ai robotaxi currently has a safety driver, the company expects to remove the driver over a short to medium period.
This signals the Guangzhou government’s official implementation of AD mobility services equivalent to traditional taxi and ride-hailing platforms. Today’s announcement supports Pony.ai’s headway toward commercial autonomy. With the robotaxi fee-charging permit received in Beijing in November 2021, Pony.ai is now the only company authorized for AD commercialization services in two Tier-1 cities in China. With successful commercialization in Beijing and Guangzhou, Pony.ai plans to grow its commercialized robotaxi footprint to the additional two Tier-1 cities in China next year and to more cities by the start of Pony.ai’s mass commercialization planned for 2024/2025. Pony.ai currently has autonomous vehicle testing and operations in all four of China’s Tier-1 cities and in California.
Pony.ai had to pass stringent safety and other multifaceted vehicle qualification tests set forth by national inspection institutions to qualify for the license. It is the first and only autonomous driving company to have met all of these requirements and standards.
From the launch of Pony.ai’s robotaxi app in December 2018 through the commercialization of robotaxi services in both Beijing and Guangzhou, Pony.ai has continually enhanced and elevated all aspects of the consumer experience of robotaxi services. As of mid-April 2022, Pony.ai’s Robotaxi service has conducted more than 700,000 orders, with almost 80% repeat users and 99% of the passengers sharing positive comments after concluding their trips – and a service satisfaction rating reaching 4.9 on a 5-point scale.