Robotaxi startup Pony.ai said on Wednesday it had received a permit to operate fully driverless ride-hailing services in China’s Guangzhou city.
The Toyota Motor-backed startup, which has operations in China and the US, now has permits for fully driverless robotaxis in China’s capital Beijing and Guangzhou.
The vehicles will not have humans in the driving seat nor safety operator.
Pony.ai started driverless testing in Guangzhou in June 2021 and has accumulated nearly 200,000 fee-charging robotaxi orders globally as of this month, the company said in a statement.
Last year, the ride hailing startup and Baidu had been granted the first licences to test fully autonomous vehicles without safety operators as a backup in Beijing. Both companies won permits for driverless taxi services in Beijing last month.
California-based Pony.ai’s next generation robotaxi model has obtained on-road testing licenses in Beijing and Guangzhou, it said, adding that robotaxi services with the model were expected to commence in the near future.
- Reuters, with additional editing by Vishakha Saxena