Pony.ai’s California authorization to test autonomous vehicles with safety drivers has been withdrawn
Pony.ai, a Silicon Valley and Guangzhou, China-based autonomous vehicle business, is no longer able to test its vehicles in California after the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles withdrew the company’s licence for “many” safety infractions.
The problem is that the company’s safety drivers are not very safe drivers. While reviewing Pony.ai’s testing licence, the DMV discovered “many violations” on the driving records of the company’s safety drivers. Pony.ai presently has 41 autonomous vehicles and 71 safety drivers on its California permit.
This isn’t the first time Poiny.ai has run afoul of the California DMV, a state body in charge of one of the country’s largest AV testing programmes. After a reported car collision in Fremont, California, the company’s ability to test driverless vehicles – autonomous vehicles without safety drivers — was suspended last year.
Pony.ai was valued at $8.5 billion after Toyota invested $400 million. The company is testing self-driving vehicles in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen, as well as Fremont and Irvine, California. Pony just gained permission to operate its self-driving taxi service in China, making it the first business to do so.