Pony.ai loses permission to test self-driving cars with drivers in California


The California Department of Motor Vehicles on Tuesday revoked permission to test Pony.ai’s autonomous vehicle technology with drivers for not monitoring the driving records of safe drivers on test permits.

A DMV spokesperson told TechCrunch: “While reviewing Pony.ai’s application for renewing a test permit, DMV discovered numerous violations in the driving records of active Pony.ai safe drivers. Licensed drivers.

“The DMV immediately revokes valid permits because of the critical role of safe drivers in facilitating safe testing of autonomous technologies and the need for these drivers to have a clean driving record established in accordance with the DMV’s autonomous vehicle regulations.”

The news comes after Pony’s driverless license was suspended to test AV technology without a human-safe driver in the front seat in November 2021 after a reported crash in Fremont, California. At the time, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration suspected a software default, so in March Pony recalled three vehicles with similar potential software issues.

Although the California DMV did not respond in time to Pony’s request for additional information on the status of a stationary driverless testing permit, if the arguably safer version (the version requiring a driver during testing) was completely revoked, DMV There is little chance of restoring a startup’s driverless license any time soon.

The agency told TechCrunch that “DMV may immediately suspend or revoke permits if there is an unreasonable risk to public safety.”

Pony does not currently have an active testing permit in California.

Meanwhile, in China, where Pony does most of its business, the company has just received a permit to provide unmanned ride-hailing services to the public on Beijing’s open roads. The company also recently obtained a taxi license to operate commercial services in Guangzhou.

Pony didn’t respond on time.

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