Pony.ai has formed a strategic joint venture with Sany Heavy Truck (SANY) – a subsidiary of Sany Heavy Industry, a Chinese heavy equipment manufacturer and the third largest heavy equipment manufacturer globally – for the development and production of autonomous trucks.
“Integrating Pony.ai’s core autonomous driving technologies with the capabilities of Sany enables our joint venture to create a successful intelligent truck and logistics ecosystem for L4 autonomous trucking,” said James Peng, Pony.ai’s CEO and co-founder.
The two companies state they will collaborate to create an autonomous truck brand integrating Pony.ai’s “virtual driver” with Sany’s drive-by-wire technology to create heavy trucks that are automotive-grade and have L4-class redundancies.
The joint venture plans to start small-scale deliveries of the robotrucks in 2022 and 2023. Mass production of the L4 truck will commence in 2024 and within a few years will reach an annual production of around 10,000 trucks.
According to the companies, the first prototype of the autonomous truck was built on Sany’s new EV truck platform and has already conducted road testing. The JV’s autonomous truck product portfolio will include a mix of new energy vehicles (NEVs) and fuel-based, with the aim to increase the proportion of NEV trucks in the future.
“Sany has industry-leading heavy truck manufacturing technology and is pioneering the architecture of ‘new energy’ heavy trucks, intelligent network connections, and other key areas,” added Peng.