Unique Toyota-backed self-driving startup Pony.ai considers heading public

FREMONT, California, June 25 (Reuters) – Self-driving tech firm Pony.ai, backed by Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T), is taking into consideration going community in the United States to aid fund its objective of commercializing driverless trip-hailing services, its chief executive instructed Reuters. The startup, active in the United States and China, […]

FREMONT, California, June 25 (Reuters) – Self-driving tech firm Pony.ai, backed by Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T), is taking into consideration going community in the United States to aid fund its objective of commercializing driverless trip-hailing services, its chief executive instructed Reuters.

The startup, active in the United States and China, designs to put in its technological innovation in hundreds of automobiles subsequent calendar year, mounting to tens of thousands in 2024-2025, he said.

Self-driving startups these kinds of as Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Waymo and General Motors Co’s (GM.N) Cruise have been racing to elevate capital as the industry prepares to scale up operations. study a lot more

Still, further than the time taken to handle technological troubles and the massive price of developing self-driving vehicles, the sector however has to persuade international regulators as nicely as the community as to the protection of complete automation.

“For autonomous driving, it can be a huge option. But at the similar time, it can be a prolonged time period, huge option,” CEO James Peng reported in an job interview with Reuters.

“So it needs a long lead way for paying out. That suggests all the autonomous driving organizations will need to raise more than enough funding to assistance their functions,” he reported.

The reviews appear as Pony.ai on Friday reported it had tapped Lawrence Steyn, vice chairman of financial investment banking at JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), as main fiscal officer to assistance “speed up its professional development and international deployment”.

A Lexus motor vehicle equipped with Pony.ai’s autonomous driving technique drives on a street for the duration of a take a look at occasion, in Beijing, China, Might 13, 2021. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang/File Picture

“We are nevertheless debating and looking at,” mentioned Peng, when asked about the time body for a community share sale.

“It can be just a various way of increasing cash.”

ROBOTAXI

Pony.ai, established by previous Google and Baidu Inc (9888.HK) engineers Peng and Lou Tiancheng in 2016, has so much lifted extra than $1 billion, like $462 million from Toyota, valuing the startup at $5.3 billion as of late past year.

Earlier this thirty day period, it mentioned it experienced started driverless screening on public streets in California’s Fremont and Milpitas forward of the planned launch of a robotaxi assistance future 12 months. It has also been screening driverless motor vehicles in Guangzhou, China.

The organization has operated robotaxi companies with safety motorists behind the wheel in some pieces of China, as perfectly as in Irvine, California. That has yielded assorted information which it could use to coach its driver system and faucet a expertise pool in both international locations, Peng stated.

He explained the up coming large problem is to lessen producing expenditures for driverless cars even though growing into extra metropolitan areas and locations and making sure safety in diverse environments.

Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin Editing by Christopher Cushing

Our Specifications: The Thomson Reuters Belief Principles.

Anette Rentie

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