Pony car company

Pony.ai driverless test permits suspended after a crash

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Key Highlights:

  • The California Department of Motor Vehicles notified Pony.ai that it was suspending its driverless testing authorization due to a reported crash in Fremont.

  • According to the crash report, the event occurred on a clear morning while Pony.ai’s driverless car was changing lanes autonomously.

  • Last month, the company’s autonomous trucking division lost a few key executives, putting the newly formed section in jeopardy.

Pony.ai test permit suspended

Pony.ai, a Chinese autonomous driving firm with a US headquarters, has halted its driverless pilot fleet in California six months after local regulators permitted it to test autonomous vehicles without a human safety driver.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles notified Pony.ai on November 19 that it was suspending its driverless testing authorization due to a reported crash in Fremont on October 28, according to a DMV statement.

Pony.ai has registered ten Hyundai Kona electric cars under its autonomous testing permission. According to the DMV, this suspension has no bearing on Pony.ai’s permit for testing with a safety driver.

No injuries in the crash

According to the crash report, the event occurred on a clear morning while Pony.ai’s driverless car was changing lanes autonomously.

Recently, one of our cars was involved in an accident with a lane divider and a street sign in Fremont, California.” “There were no other cars engaged, and there were no injuries,” a Pony.ai official told.

We initiated an inquiry right after and are in communication with the California DMV regarding the situation,” the official stated.

When other autonomous cars have recorded collisions, the majority of them have occurred while the safety driver was physically controlling the vehicle or when another vehicle collided with an AV from behind. This occurrence is notable since the car was in autonomous mode and there was no other vehicle involved.

Questioning Pony.ai’s autonomous driving

The event calls Pony.ai’s autonomous driving capabilities into doubt. According to a representative for the firm, its AVs have “successfully driven over 750,000 real-world kilometers in California since 2017.

Pony.ai, founded in 2016 by Baidu veterans, is one of several AV firms with R&D teams and testing fleets in both China and California. With total fundraising of over $1 billion and a valuation of $5.3 billion as of February, it has lured heavyweight investors such as Toyota and Sequoia Capital. It was recently permitted, together with Baidu, to operate commercially driven autonomous cars within a demo zone in Beijing.

In recent months, the corporation has also encountered challenges. It had canceled preparations to list via a New York SPAC after failing to ensure Beijing that it would not be targeted by the US government. Last month, the company’s autonomous trucking division lost a few key executives, putting the newly formed section in jeopardy. As the battle heats up, the business has a lot of work to do to demonstrate to its investors that it has competitive technology and a sustainable commercial future.

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