Robotics and driverless car startup Pony.ai launches autonomous deliveries in California as coronavirus lockdown continues
The last time we wrote about Pony.ai was back in August 2019 when the the artificial intelligence and robotics startup partnered with Toyota to accelerate the development and deployment of autonomous vehicles. Now, the Chinese tech startup has teamed up with e-commerce platform Yamibuy to deliver items in autonomous cars to customers in California.
Pony.ai had been running a robo-taxi service in Irvine, California since last year. But after the “shelter-in-place” order was issued in March, the company had to cease the service. The 10 Hyundai cars equipped with Pony.ai driverless car technology were repurposed to carry out deliveries from Yamibuy to customers in Irvine.
PonyPilot is an self-driving car service. PonyPilot makes getting around easy, safe, and convenient. To request a ride, simply open your app and select your destination. When your car arrives, hop in the vehicle, validate your ride, and sit back and relax while we take care of the rest. PonyPilot is currently available for service in the Irvine, California region.
Founded in 2016 by James Peng and Tiancheng Lou, the Fremont, California and Beijing, China-based Pony develops artificial intelligence solutions in the field of robotics. Pony.ai is the leading autonomous driving technology company in China, with a mission to revolutionize the future of transportation by building the safest and most reliable solution for autonomous mobility. Pony.ai has raised roughly $300 million as of April 2019 from renowned investors including Sequoia Capital China, IDG Capital, among others, making it the most valuable autonomous driving startup in China.
Pony.ai is a Chinese firm that is a rival to Waymo, the self-driving car subsidiary of Google parent company Alphabet. In February, it raised $462 million in a funding round which included Japanese automaker Toyota, valuing Pony.ai at around $3 billion.