Pony.ai varieties autonomous truck JV with Sany Heavy Truck in China – Thealike

Autonomous car firm Pony.ai is forming a strategic three way partnership with Sany Heavy Truck, a subsidiary of Chinese heavy tools producer Sany Heavy Industry, to create an autonomous truck model.

The plan is to mix Pony.ai’s “virtual driver” with Sany’s technical prowess in constructing heavy-duty vehicles to construct automotive-grade self-driving vehicles with Level 4 autonomy, which implies the autos can drive themselves in sure situations without having a human to intervene. The JV’s autonomous truck product portfolio will embody a mixture of “new energy vehicles,” like electrical vehicles, and diesel-powered vehicles, the corporate mentioned.

“This partnership between SANY and Pony.ai is the ultimate collaboration between truck ‘body’ and truck ‘brain’ and thus makes it possible to mass produce high-level autonomous trucks,” mentioned Liang Linhe, chairman of Sany Heavy Truck, in a press release.

The JV, which doesn’t but have a model title, will start small-scale deliveries of the robotrucks this yr and subsequent, with mass manufacturing commencing in 2024, according to Pony. The firm expects to succeed in an annual manufacturing of round 10,000 vehicles inside a number of years.

Sany and Pony have already begun highway testing the JV’s first prototype, which was constructed on Sany’s new EV truck platform, based on Pony. Like all the JV’s future autonomous vehicles, the prototype was powered by Pony’s Autonomous Driving Controller, which is constructed on Nvidia’s Drive Orin self-driving toolkit.

The transfer indicators that Pony.ai, which is technically headquartered in San Francisco, is investing extra time and assets into its operations in China. The startup, which additionally builds and deploys robotaxis, not too long ago misplaced its allow to deploy autonomous autos with a driver behind the wheel in California. In December 2021, Pony additionally had its license to check its driverless autos in California suspended. In China, nonetheless, Pony not too long ago scored a taxi license to function a business robotaxi service in Guangzhou and bought a allow to supply driverless ride-hailing to the general public in Beijing.

In November final yr, Pony.ai had mixed its self-driving truck and passenger automotive R&D groups, prompting at the very least two key executives from its trucking crew to go away in a huff. Sources who spoke to Thealike on the time on the situation of anonymity mentioned the startup’s U.S.-based trucking operations had been suspended, however that checks continued in China.

Earlier this yr, Pony also announced that it had formed another JV with Sinotrans, considered one of China’s main logistics and freight forwarding corporations, to construct a sensible logistics community that includes autonomous driving trucking applied sciences. Cyantron, because the JV is named, started operations in April.

Pony mentioned in a press release Thursday that its technique to unlocking robotrucking is to create partnerships with prime trucking and logistics corporations to create a framework for future growth, so we’d count on to see extra JVs sooner or later.

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