Pony.ai and Toyota to Form Joint Venture to Advance Mass Production of L4 Autonomous Vehicles

Pony.ai and Toyota said their joint venture will lead to the full commercialization of autonomous robotaxis.

Business Wire

Executives from Pony.ai, Toyota Motor (China) Investment Co., and GAC Toyota Motor Co. held a joint venture signing ceremony on Aug. 4.
Pony.ai, Toyota Motor (China) Investment Co., and GAC Toyota Motor Co. are cooperating toward large-scale deployment of self-driving robotaxis being tested in China.

Robotic taxicabs are advancing worldwide, particularly in Asia. Last week, Pony.ai Inc. held a joint venture signing ceremony today with Toyota Motor (China) Investment Co. and GAC Toyota Motor Co. The three parties said they will work together toward mass production and large-scale deployment of fully self-driving robotaxis.

Founded in 2016, Pony.ai said its goal is “to bring safe, sustainable, and accessible mobility to the entire world.” The Fremont, Calif.-based company, which raised Series D funding last year, has been rapidly extending its autonomous vehicle technologies at multiple sites.

Pony.ai said its systems have driven more than 24 million km (14.9 million mi.) in autonomous testing and operation on open roads worldwide. It has partnered with leading OEMs such as Toyota, SAIC, SANY, FAW Group, and GAC Group.

Within its self-owned fleets, Pony.ai currently has about 200 Toyota and Lexus brand robotaxis. They are located in all four of China’s Tier 1 cities—Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen—for road tests and public-facing robotaxi operations.

Three-way joint venture to bring robotaxis to market

The three companies said they will establish a joint venture company this year with an investment of more than RMB 1 billion (about $139.2 million U.S.). The partnerhsip is intended to deliver safe and convenient robotaxi services for riders, they stated.

The joint venture will combine Pony.ai's experience with autonomous driving technology and robotaxi operations, Toyota's vehicle expertise, and GAC Toyota Motor Co.'s (GTMC) advanced production, said the companies.

GTMC will provide Pony.ai with Toyota-branded battery-electric vehicles. They are equipped with Toyota’s vehicle redundant systems designed for SAE Level 4 autonomous vehicle development.

The vehicles will also run on PonyPilot+, Pony.ai’s robotaxi network platform. The three companies said the joint venture will provide the capacity for scaled-up robotaxi services, encourage the full commercialization of advanced autonomous mobility, and drive the development of the entire industry into a new stage.

Source: Pony.ai, via LinkedIn.

Pony.ai and Toyota continue partnership

Pony.ai and Toyota said the joint venture will deepen their long-time collaboration. In August 2019, the companies announced they would jointly advance the development of autonomous vehicles in China.

In September 2019, Pony.ai and Toyota teamed up to lead autonomous driving testing on public roads in China, using Toyota's Lexus RX 450h model and Pony.ai’s autonomous driving systems. In 2021, Pony.ai claimed to be the only company testing self-driving vehicles in both China and the U.S.

In April 2023, the Toyota Sienna Autono-MaaS (S-AM) vehicle equipped with Pony.ai's sixth-generation autonomous driving software and hardware system started public road testing in Beijing and Guangzhou.

Pony.ai released a 10-hour livestream of its autonomous vehicle testing.

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Business Wire

Executives from Pony.ai, Toyota Motor (China) Investment Co., and GAC Toyota Motor Co. held a joint venture signing ceremony on Aug. 4.

Robot Technologies