Self-driving technology startup Pony.ai on Thursday announced it plans to mass produce self-driving trucks with equipment giant Sany Heavy Industry.
BEIJING – Self-driving technology startup Pony.ai on Thursday announced plans to mass-produce self-driving trucks in China with the equipment giant. Sany Heavy Industry.
According to a press release, annual production will reach about 10,000 trucks “within the next few years”. Small-scale deliveries will begin this year and next, with mass production slated to begin in 2024.
According to Pony.ai, the trucks are expected to come with “Level 4” autonomous driving technology, allowing for full self-driving on highways and urban roads, according to Pony.ai. “L4” is part of an industry classification system that designates full self-driving capability under specific conditions.
Under current regulations in China, trucks will not be able to operate fully autonomously.
Pony.ai says it only has testing licenses in Beijing and Guangzhou for autonomous trucks. But the company said it expected to operate L4 trucks in China as regulations evolve.
Some, but not all, of the trucks planned will be “new energy vehicles”, a category that includes electric vehicles.
Pony.ai declined to share additional information on the price per truck on Thursday and whether the trucks will be offered only in China.
Sany has offices globally, while Pony.ai also operates in the US. The deal to mass produce the robotruck is part of a strategic joint venture between Pony.ai and Sany Heavy Truck, a subsidiary of Sany.
Analysts usually expect Robots take off faster than robots due to the more uniform nature of truck routes along the highway. Daily truck rides typically last hours compared to much shorter taxi rides.