Autonomous driving technology company Pony.ai has formed a collaboration with SAIC AI Lab – a division of SAIC Motor (Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation) – to co-explore and advance driverless vehicle technology and develop a Level 4 robotaxi.
The duo has launched a concept vehicle based on the SAIC Marvel R model and will produce of a fleet of autonomous vehicles utilizing Pony.ai’s L4-level driverless solutions.
The car benefits from 17 integrated automotive-grade sensors which deliver a 360° visual range covering 200m – this helps to eliminate blind spots around the vehicle – and an intelligent cockpit with a foldable steering wheel which delivers human-machine interaction.
As part of the collaboration, both Pony.ai and SAIC AI Lab will work together to advance human-machine interfaces, automotive chassis, intelligent cockpits and other autonomous and intelligent driving solutions. Additionally, the pair will also promote the introduction of Shanghai’s driverless policy. Through their collaboration, the duo seeks to accelerate the commercial adoption of robotaxi services and autonomous driving tech across many of China’s major cities.
The news follows the announcement of the launch of the Shanghai Driverless Demo Zone, a part of the National Intelligent Vehicle Pilot in Shanghai, China. A driverless demo zone is planned at the Shanghai Auto Expo Park and is set to include 3.8km area of semi-closed roads; 1.2km are already in use, and the following 2.6km is scheduled for completion by the end of 2022.
“SAIC is a world-class automotive company, and Pony.ai is a leader in autonomous driving technology,” said James Peng, co-founder and CEO, Pony.ai. “Together we will break through tech boundaries and accelerate the development of driverless technology and promote and advance the application of driverless technology.”
“Pony.ai is a global leader in autonomous driving. SAIC AI Lab has mature technical strengths in driverless operation, vehicle development, and intelligent cockpit,” added Dang Xiang, general manager, SAIC AI Lab. “Its robotaxi project has been affirmed by the market. It is believed that the cooperation between the two companies will accelerate commercialization progress, upgrade mobility services, and advance the establishment of intelligent urban transportation.”