BEIJING, May 25 (TMTPOST) — California Department of Motor Vehicles revoked Pony.ai’s permit for testing autonomous vehicles with drivers on Tuesday for failing to monitor the driving records of the safety drivers on its testing permit.
“While reviewing Pony.ai’s application to renew the testing permit, the DMV found numerous violations on the driving records of active Pony.ai safety drivers,” a spokesperson for the DMV told TechCrunch, noting that Pony had 41 autonomous test vehicles and 71 safety drivers on its permit. “Because of the critical role of safety drivers to facilitate the safe testing of autonomous technology and the need for these drivers to have a clean driving record as established by the DMV’s autonomous vehicle regulations, the DMV is revoking the permit, effective immediately.”
Pony.ai responded to the news report on Wednesday. “We received a notification from the California DMV today. The DMV has decided to revoke the company’s test permit in California given the records of the three safety drivers. We are working to gain a full picture of the incident. Vehicle test remains normal in China,” the company said in an announcement.
Pony.ai acquired authorization from the DMV on May 21, 2021, to test autonomous vehicles without a safety driver on the designated roads of three cities in California.
Pony.ai’s permit for unmanned autonomous driving was revoked after a car crash took place in Fremont California in late October 2021. An investigation of the incident concluded that the crash was caused by a specific software that was running on three autonomous vehicles from Pony.ai.
Earlier in March this year, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that Pony.ai had agreed to call back some of its autonomous driving software versions. The NHTSA believed that the software has safety issues and demanded Pony.ai to call it back. This is the first time for a company to call back its L4 autonomous driving system.