Pony.ai Receives Highest Test License for Self-driving Cars


An AI installed self driving car. / Photo by: Dllu via Wikimedia Commons


A Chinese startup company, Pony.ai, has obtained the T3 test license for self-driving vehicles in the country. This is will allow the company to test their AVs on open roads in China.

The T3 license is the highest permit a company can get for autopilot drive testing in China. Any autonomous car bearing this license represents a comprehensive set of capabilities, such as response to an emergency, awareness of road conditions, compliance with traffic laws, and proper route execution. Aside from Pony.ai, only one other company has obtained the said license – Baidu.

China has several open roads located in three different areas – Beijing Economic Development Zone, Haidian District, and Shunyi District. The combined open roads have a total of 105 kilometers for self-driving car testing.

"Beijing strongly supports start-ups to participate in unmanned road test work…Unmanned driving It is necessary to face the uncertainty of road conditions and complex road scenes, which is also the core content of Beijing road test license capability evaluation,” said CEO Peng Jun.

The technology research centers of Pony.ai are located in Beijing, Guangzhou, and Silicon Valley, with at least 130 people who have high technical skills. The operating system the company offers replaces the standard Robotic Operating System used by some AV companies. 

Their autopilot OS can support rapid iteration, in-vehicle computing, real-time tracking, data transmission, and job scheduling. Moreover, they have solutions for other aspects useful in autonomous systems like forecasting, planning and control, and self-development of automated driving.

As of this time, there is no clear schedule when Pony.ai will start testing their vehicles on the allowed open roads. But putting their AVs to the test will help determine the reliability and stability of their system.

Pony.ai was founded by Peng Jun in the second half of 2016 and it obtained the California Road Test License in June 2017.