PonyTron Completes China’s First Test of High-Level Autonomous Trucks on Open Highways

Pony.ai announced on Monday that its truck brand PonyTron has successfully completed automated driving of trucks on the Beijing–Taipei Expressway on December 5, and has now kicked off the normal automated driving test. This is the first time that an automated driving enterprise has conducted high-level automated driving tests on open highways in line with policies in China.

Since it was launched in March this year, PonyTron has been committed to promoting the R&D and application of automated driving for commercial vehicles, carrying out cooperation in commercial operation and mode verification. PonyTron now has transported 16,400 tons of freight covering a commercial operation mileage of 50,000 kilometers.

In July, 2021, PonyTron was among the first batch of companies obtaining automated driving truck test licenses and highway test licenses issued by Beijing Intelligent Networked Automobile Policy Pioneer Zone.

According to regulations, PonyTron is allowed to operate in six locations: the Beijing-Taipei Expressway (Beijing Section), Beijing-Tianjin Expressway (Beijing Section), Daxing Airport Expressway, South Fifth Ring Road (from New Airport Expressway to Beijing-Tianjin Expressway), South Sixth Ring Road (from New Airport Expressway to Beijing-Tianjin Expressway) and Daxing Airport North Line Expressway. High-level automated driving road tests are carried out on expressways and urban expressways with a total length of about 143 kilometers.

The vehicles under normalized testing are automated driving trucks developed by FAW J7 vehicle platform, which is mainly for logistics and is qualified as L4 automated driving on busy highways and expressways.

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Based on the core technology of “Virtual Driver” independently developed by Pony.ai, the automated driving truck system adopts a multi-sensor fusion scheme of multiple lidars, cameras and millimeter wave radars, which better meets the requirements of long-distance sensing and quick response when the vehicle is moving at a high speed. Besides, these trucks realize safe and stable driving through optimal path and intelligent combination of throttle, brake and other control schemes, its operation efficiency and economic values are higher.

PonyTron has developed rapidly in the past year, and has obtained several test and operation licenses in Beijing and Guangzhou, including Guangzhou’s first automated driving truck test license and freight road transport business license.