Toyota and Pony.ai Announce Joint Venture to Mass Produce Fully Driverless Electric Robotaxis in China

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Toyota and autonomous mobility startup Pony.ai have announced a joint venture to mass produce fully driverless electric robotaxis in China. The venture, scheduled to be established this year with an investment of over RMB 1 billion ($139.2 million), will see GAC Toyota Motor (a joint venture between Toyota and GAC Group in China) provide Pony.ai with Toyota-branded electric vehicles equipped with L4 autonomous driving capabilities. These vehicles will incorporate Pony.ai’s autonomous driving technology and operate on the company’s robotaxi network platform, PonyPilot+.

This joint venture builds upon the existing relationship between Toyota and Pony.ai, which began in August 2019. The companies have been collaborating on the development and testing of self-driving vehicles in China, with around 200 Toyota and Lexus robotaxis currently operating in China’s tier 1 cities. Pony.ai became the first autonomous driving company to obtain a taxi license in China in April 2020, accumulating nearly 15 million miles (24 million kilometers) of autonomous driving.

Toyota’s foray into robotaxis comes as the company aims to address challenges in China’s auto market while transitioning to electric vehicles. To compete in the market, Toyota plans to accelerate local development of technology and software in China, particularly focusing on electrified vehicles. As part of these plans, the joint venture with GAC also recently terminated the contracts of approximately 1,000 workers.

The new joint venture aims to advance the future mass production and large-scale deployment of fully driverless electric robotaxis. By combining Toyota’s expertise in electric vehicles with Pony.ai’s autonomous driving technology, the companies hope to develop a robust and efficient autonomous mobility solution that meets the increasing demands of Chinese consumers.

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As a global automotive giant, Toyota’s entry into the robotaxi market represents a significant development in the autonomous driving sector. With the joint venture’s focus on mass production and large-scale deployment, the companies are positioning themselves to capitalize on the growing demand for autonomous mobility solutions in China. This collaboration will likely contribute to the further development and adoption of self-driving technology in the country.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Related to the Above News

What is the joint venture between Toyota and Pony.ai?

The joint venture between Toyota and Pony.ai is aimed at mass producing fully driverless electric robotaxis in China. Toyota's partner in China, GAC Toyota Motor, will provide Pony.ai with Toyota-branded electric vehicles equipped with L4 autonomous driving capabilities.

When will the joint venture be established?

The joint venture is scheduled to be established this year.

How much investment is planned for the joint venture?

The joint venture will receive an investment of over RMB 1 billion ($139.2 million).

What is Pony.ai's role in the joint venture?

Pony.ai will contribute its autonomous driving technology and operate its robotaxi network platform, PonyPilot+. The vehicles provided by GAC Toyota Motor will incorporate Pony.ai's autonomous driving technology.

How long have Toyota and Pony.ai been collaborating?

Toyota and Pony.ai started collaborating in August 2019 on the development and testing of self-driving vehicles in China.

How many robotaxis are currently operating in China as a result of this collaboration?

Around 200 Toyota and Lexus robotaxis are currently in operation in China's tier 1 cities due to this collaboration.

What milestone did Pony.ai achieve in China?

Pony.ai became the first autonomous driving company to obtain a taxi license in China in April 2020, accumulating nearly 15 million miles (24 million kilometers) of autonomous driving.

Why is Toyota entering the robotaxi market in China?

Toyota aims to address challenges in China's auto market while transitioning to electric vehicles. It also intends to compete in the market by accelerating local development of technology and software, particularly focusing on electrified vehicles.

What happened with the joint venture and its workers recently?

As part of Toyota's plans to accelerate local development in China, the joint venture with GAC terminated the contracts of approximately 1,000 workers.

What is the goal of the joint venture?

The goal of the joint venture is to advance the future mass production and large-scale deployment of fully driverless electric robotaxis, meeting the growing demands of Chinese consumers with a robust and efficient autonomous mobility solution.

What impact does Toyota's entry into the robotaxi market have on the autonomous driving sector?

Toyota's entry into the robotaxi market is a significant development in the autonomous driving sector. With a focus on mass production and large-scale deployment, the joint venture positions itself to capitalize on the increasing demand for autonomous mobility solutions in China, contributing to the further development and adoption of self-driving technology in the country.

Please note that the FAQs provided on this page are based on the news article published. While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, it is always recommended to consult relevant authorities or professionals before making any decisions or taking action based on the FAQs or the news article.

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