Pony.ai and Sinotrans further deployment of Autonomous Truck technologies
Pony.ai, a leading global autonomous driving technology company, announced on December 27th that PonyTron, its autonomous trucking business unit, formed a joint venture with Sinotrans, part of China Merchants Group and one of China’s leading logistics and freight forwarding companies.
The two companies will work together to build a smart logistics network featuring autonomous driving trucking technologies. The joint venture is expected to commence operations in early 2022 with an intelligent logistics fleet consisting of over 100 trucks. Over time, this fleet size is expected to grow substantially, incorporating cutting edge autonomous driving technologies, along with sophisticated logistics technology.
“Intelligent technologies are driving the transformation of mobility and transportation. Sinotrans is a world-leading logistics firm and Pony.ai offers world-class autonomous driving technologies. This strong partnership will create a benchmark for the massive commercial deployment of autonomous technologies, and will improve the efficiency and quality of the logistics sector. In addition, these technologies will add significant safety and environmental benefits to the trucking sector in China. We are delighted to shape the future of logistics together with Sinotrans,” said James Peng, co-founder and CEO of Pony.ai.
“This innovative combination of an autonomous vehicle technology company together with a traditional logistics company will certainly inspire the transformation of the logistics sector. By forming an intelligent logistics platform, the two companies will join hands to tackle the core problems in both the autonomous driving and logistics sectors. We firmly believe that technological development will further strengthen the logistics sector and the entire industrial chain,” said Song Rong, Executive Director and President of Sinotrans.
“The joint venture with Sinotrans will provide real life logistics scenarios to fully test and leverage our ‘virtual driver’ capabilities as trucking in China combines both the complexities of highway trucking and city trucking. We will be able to accumulate a massive amount of useful data, representing the full complexity of trucking traffic patterns, from open highways to downtown urban settings, which will be a great catalyst for the development of autonomous driving technology,” said Tiancheng Lou, co-founder and CTO of Pony.ai.
In June 2021, PonyTron and Sinotrans launched a pilot program testing autonomous driving technologies for long-haul logistics, laying a solid foundation for the new joint venture.
Sinotrans, a subsidiary of China Merchants Group, is aiming to build a world-class business platform with intelligent logistics services. Its third-party logistics and freight forwarding services were ranked seventh and third globally, according to a 2020 Armstrong & Associates ranking.
PonyTron, Pony.ai’s autonomous trucking business unit, has grown rapidly since its creation in late 2020 with milestones including: obtaining driverless trucking road test licenses in both Guangzhou and Beijing, obtaining a permit to test self-driving trucks on Beijing’s highways, as well as obtaining a license to offer commercial road transport services in China.
By the end of November 2021, PonyTron had accumulated 50,000 kilometres (over 31,000 miles) of commercial operation and had delivered over 16,400 tons of goods. On December 5th, Pony.ai tested its PonyTron autonomous truck on a highway in Beijing, the first time any self-driving company had conducted autonomous trucking tests on an open highway in China.