Pony.ai, one of the world’s leading self-driving technology companies, announced it had acquired a taxi license in China, meaning that the Toyota-backed firm will be able to charge fares in some of its driverless vehicles, reports Reuters. The company said it was the first autonomous driving company in the country to do so.
The startup said it was awarded the license to operate 100 driverless vehicles in the Guangzhou city district of Nansha. Pony.ai last year also won approval to launch paid driverless robotaxi services in Beijing and has since begun offering rides. In Beijing, however, rides are being offered in a much smaller, industrial zone on a trial basis, a Pony.ai spokesperson said.
According to the company’s statement, in Nansha it will start charging fares in the entire 800 square km of the district with driverless cars. Passengers can hail and pay for rides with Pony.ai’s own app.