July 28, Beijing (TMTPost) – Chinese autonomous driving technology Pony.ai has started a joint venture focusing on the research and development of trucks with L4 autonomous driving capacity with truck maker SANY Group.
The two companies will be working together to create a high-end autonomous truck brand in China.
Pony.ai told Sina Tech that the two companies will make use of Pony.ai’s virtual driver technology and SANY Group’s technological experiences in truck development to redefine the future of logistic trucks. Pony.ai and SANY Group will be working on developing autonomous trucks with L4 autonomous driving capabilities.
Level 4 vehicles can operate in self-driving mode. The key difference between Level 3 and Level 4 automation is that Level 4 vehicles can intervene if things go wrong or there is a system failure. In this sense, these cars do not require human interaction in most circumstances.
The new joint venture is expected to start mass producing and delivering products within this year at a small scale. The company plans to start large-scale mass production in 2024 and hopes to bring its annual production capacity to over ten thousand units. The very first autonomous car developed based on SANY Group’s new energy truck platform has started road test. Pony.ai’s domain controller, built upon NVIDIA DRIVE Orin, will also empower the smart trucks from the joint venture.
“SANY Group has industry-leading truck-making technologies and is actively exploring key areas such as new energy trucks and connectivity,” Pony.ai’s co-founder and CEO Peng Jun said. “Pony.ai, on the other hand, holds key technologies in autonomous driving. The company has also started the exploration of smart logistics. The two companies will work together on key technologies for smart logistics.”
Pony.ai is an autonomous vehicle technology company co-located in Silicon Valley, Beijing, and Guangzhou. The company was founded in December 2016 by James Peng and Tiancheng Lou who were formerly developers for Baidu in Silicon Valley. In April 2022, Pony.ai became the first autonomous driving company to get a taxi license in China.