Silicon Valley based Pony.ai, an autonomous driving company, says it has begun regular fully driverless testing on public roads in Fremont and Milpitas in California.
Along with the recent launch of fully driverless testing in Guangzhou, China, the company says this makes it the first operator to get fully automated vehicles on public roads in three cities across the world’s two most dynamic mobility markets.
The testing program has been made possible by the previously announced award of a driverless permit from the California Department of Motor Vehicles for a fleet of six driverless vehicles, facilitating a total operational coverage over 100km2. As US cities reopen in phases, Pony.ai is also looking to resume its Robotaxi service to the public in Irvine, California, this summer, and plans to roll out the fully driverless service to the public in 2022.
“Going completely driverless is key to achieving full autonomy and an indispensable catalyst to realizing our ambitious vision,” said James Peng, CEO and founder of Pony.ai. “As we continue to grow and scale, we extended our community responsibility from contactless delivery services throughout the pandemic in California last year to fight the new Covid-19 outbreak in Guangzhou.”