Pony.ai says it’s first self-driving firm to get taxi license in China

Autonomous driving start off-up Pony.ai can obtain fares for robotaxi rides in elements of two major Chinese metropolitan areas as of Sunday.

Pony.ai handout

BEIJING — Self-driving start off-up Pony.ai declared Sunday it been given a taxi license, the 1st of its sort in China.

The license lets Pony.ai to work 100 self-driving cars as classic taxis in the Nansha district of the southern city of Guangzhou, the business said.

The Chinese begin-up, which is backed by Toyota, gained approval from Beijing metropolis late final calendar year to cost service fees to operate a commercial robotaxi organization in a suburban district of the city. It is not the exact same as a taxi licence.

Baidu’s Apollo Go also acquired approval in the exact same Beijing district past year.

Pony.ai was valued at $8.5 billion in early March. The company said its Nansha taxi license expected 24 months of autonomous driving testing in China and/or other international locations, and no involvement in any lively liability targeted traffic mishaps, among other variables.

The get started-up claimed it options to launch professional robotaxi corporations in two other big Chinese cities future yr. The business is presently screening self-driving vehicles in people metropolitan areas and in California. 

Robotaxis in China now have a human driver current for basic safety.

— CNBC’s Arjun Kharpal contributed to this report.