Pony.ai, Toyota Motor (China) Investment, and GAC Toyota Motor have joined hands to pioneer a groundbreaking venture in the autonomous driving industry. The three companies recently announced the formation of a joint venture with the ambitious goal of developing driverless robotaxis.
The yet-to-be-named joint venture company is slated to be established in 2023, with a substantial estimated investment of over RMB 1 billion (approximately USD 139.2 million). This considerable financial backing reflects the companies’ strong commitment to advancing autonomous driving technology and shaping the future of transportation.
In this innovative collaboration, GAC Toyota Motor (GTMC) will play a pivotal role by providing Pony.ai with Toyota branded battery electric vehicles. These cutting-edge vehicles will be equipped with Toyota’s renowned vehicle redundant systems, tailor-made to support Level 4 autonomous driving development – the second-highest level of automation as defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE).
Pony.ai will complement the advanced Toyota vehicles with its state-of-the-art autonomous driving technology. The vehicles will be integrated into Pony.ai’s highly-regarded robotaxi network platform known as PonyPilot+, which has garnered widespread acclaim for its efficiency and safety.
Currently, Pony.ai boasts a substantial combined fleet of approximately 200 Toyota and Lexus brand robotaxis. These vehicles are strategically deployed in all four of China’s Tier-1 cities – Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen – for extensive road testing and operational public-facing robotaxi services. This extensive network serves as an essential stepping stone in paving the way for the forthcoming joint venture’s success.
The strategic partnership between Pony.ai and Toyota Motor (China) Investment, bolstered by the support of GAC Toyota Motor, holds immense promise for transforming the landscape of autonomous driving and robotaxi services. By combining their unique expertise and resources, the companies aim to accelerate the development and deployment of self-driving technology while ensuring utmost safety and convenience for passengers.