A joint venture signing ceremony has been held by Pony.ai and Toyota Motor (China) Investment (TMCI) and GAC Toyota Motor (GTMC) for a collaborative initiative aimed at accelerating the future production and widespread deployment of fully autonomous and driverless robotaxis.
The joint venture establishment is scheduled for 2023, with a projected investment exceeding RMB 1bn (approximately US$139.2m). GTMC will provide Pony.ai with Toyota-branded battery electric vehicles, embedding Toyota’s vehicle redundancy systems tailored for L4 autonomous driving development. The vehicles will feature Pony.ai’s autonomous driving technology and will operate within the PonyPilot+ robotaxi network platform.
The combination of Pony.ai’s autonomous driving and robotaxi experience with Toyota’s vehicle technologies and GTMC’s advanced manufacturing knowledge will together drive the commercialization of robotaxi services and development of the robotaxi industry.
The new joint venture deepens the partnership between Pony.ai and Toyota; the companies announced in August 2019 that they would collaborate on AV development in China. Additionally, in September 2019, the companies embarked on autonomous driving trials on public roadways in China, using Toyota’s Lexus RX 450h model coupled with Pony.ai’s autonomous driving systems. In April 2023, the Toyota Sienna Autono-MaaS (S-AM) vehicle, featuring Pony.ai’s sixth-generation AD software and hardware system, commenced public road testing in Beijing and Guangzhou.
Pony.ai currently operates a fleet of around 200 Toyota and Lexus brand robotaxis. These vehicles are strategically positioned across all of China’s Tier-1 cities (Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen) for comprehensive road testing and public-facing robotaxi operations.