Toyota Motor Corp. and two partners in China are setting up a joint venture aimed at bringing self-driving electric vehicles to the masses.
(Bloomberg) — Toyota Motor Corp. and two partners in China are setting up a joint venture aimed at bringing self-driving electric vehicles to the masses.
The Japanese automaker and its manufacturing affiliate in China along with autonomous technology company Pony.ai Inc. will invest more than one billion yuan ($139 million) in the driverless EV initiative, the companies said Friday. They provided no timeline or estimate on the number of vehicles expected to be deployed.
The three-party venture aims to “advance the future mass production and large-scale deployment of fully driverless robotaxis,” according to a statement from Pony.ai.
Self-driving car technology has attracted investment from a number of top auto and technology companies and many have pilot programs scattered across the US and in China. But progress has been slower than once projected.
Toyota announced the venture on its Chinese language website. The automotive giant invested $400 million in Pony.ai three years ago, solidifying a partnership forged in 2019.
Pony.ai, founded in 2016, also has a relationship with Guangzhou Automobile Group, which is Toyota’s manufacturing partner at GAC Toyota Motor Co.
Pony.ai, which is based in Fremont, California, develops and operates self-driving fleets in the US and China.
–With assistance from Ed Ludlow.
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