On Thursday, Chinese autonomous driving firm Pony.ai revealed its sixth generation autonomous driving system. The system features leading-edge sensors, the NVIDIA DRIVE computing platform, and stylish design for L4 automotive-grade mass production fleets.
The first model equipped with this system, the Toyota S-AM, a seven-seat hybrid electric platform for autonomous mobility, will start road tests in China this year and be deployed within Pony.ai’s public robotaxi operations in the first half of 2023.
“We have accumulated more than 10 million kilometers of autonomous mileage worldwide on open roads and throughout 2022, we will continue to invest in our leading R&D and global robotaxi operations,” said James Peng, co-founder and CEO of Pony.ai. He added, “The introduction of the world-class Toyota S-AM into the PonyPilot+ fleet represents another major achievement of the broadstrategic cooperation between Pony.ai and Toyota. Furthermore, Pony.ai’s new generation of autonomous driving systems powered by NVIDIA will further demonstrate the safety and technical reliability of autonomous driving.”
Pony.ai started to develop the self-driving capabilities for the S-AM China model together with Toyota as early as 2019. The new system for automotive-grade mass production has 23 sensors and computing capabilities.
Pony.ai is also introducing its next-generation mass-produced autonomous computing unit, using the NVIDIA DRIVE Orin. Compared with the previous generation’s computing platform, the new generation is expected to have a greater than 30% increase in computing power, and at least 30% less weight and more than a 30% reduction in cost.
The new generation system has complete redundancy, which maximizes safety and enables the vehicle to pull over or stop safely in case of an emergency. In the S-AM model, Pony.ai is also unveiling a concept design for the new autonomous driving system, including rooftop signaling units which have a horizontal lighting unit on the front and three vertically placed lighting stripes on the rear.