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USA: Pony.ai has its license for autonomous driving revoked

The future belongs to autonomous driving. I think we all agree on that by now. But the road to series production is still a long and rocky one. The provider Pony.ai had to experience this firsthand. After a solo accident involving one of its self-driving cars, the Chinese company was promptly stripped of its license to send its vehicles into traffic without a safety driver. This is what happened in California, USA.

Compulsory chauffeur in the future

The revocation of the license is a first. So far, California has not issued a similar ban to any other company. This brings the total number of providers of autonomous driving in California from eight to seven. By contrast, a completely different tone prevails at the other end of the world. In China, where Pony.ai is based, the company was only able to take a step forward in November of this year. While previously only offering test rides without a driver, the provider is now also allowed to use chauffeurless cab rides. This should make the ruble roll considerably louder for the company now.

This is obviously a prestige project that not only moves Pony.ai, but all of China. After all, the city of Beijing has pulled some strings to create the best possible conditions for the company. For example, 60 square kilometers have been released as a test area in China’s capital. Here, Pony.ai can test its autonomous vehicles and let chauffeurless cabs generate money. The company is benefiting above all from a diverse mix. For example, the test area includes not only typical residential neighborhoods, but also business streets as well as commercial areas.

Accident without personal injury

The accident, which led to the revocation of the license, occurred on October 28 in the city of Fremont. In this case, the vehicle of Pony.ai (Hyundai Kona) collided with a traffic island. Property damage in the form of a broken road sign and damage to the vehicle were the result. It is not yet known why the solo accident occurred. Pony.ai has so far remained silent on the matter. However, although there was no personal injury, the operator’s license was immediately revoked. This is the first time this has happened since autonomous driving permits were introduced in California three years ago.

Serious condition

Pony.ai was not issued a blanket ban on its operations. Rather, it is a “carry on with conditions.” In particular, it is now no longer allowed to be on the road without a corresponding safety driver. What may not sound bad at first glance ensures that Pony.ai loses its most important trademark. The whole thing gets a stale taste when you consider which company maintains its headquarters in Fremont. It is none other than e-car specialist Tesla. Tesla is also working meticulously on perfecting autonomous driving.

Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Bad Segeberg.

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The future belongs to autonomous driving. I think we all agree on that by now. But the road to series production is still a long and rocky one. The provider Pony.ai had to experience this firsthand. After a solo accident involving one of its self-driving cars, the Chinese company was promptly stripped of its license … (Weiterlesen...)

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