January 29, 2018

Yesterday, Pony.ai began operating its autonomous cars in Nansha, Guangzhou. This marks the first time a self-driving car company has made the service available to members of the general public in China. The company has also released a video of its autonomous car driving in rainy weather on the streets of Nansha.

As you can see from the video, Pony.ai’s car begins autonomous mode and immediately enters the main road of Nansha. While driving at a relatively high speed, Pony.ai’s car is able to smoothly and accurately read traffic lights while performing several lane changes.

As Pony.ai’s car path becomes more populated with pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists, the car is able to accurately recognize surrounding entities and determine their speed. Based on this information, the car is also able to predict each object or entity’s movement path in real time.

Additionally, at the 0:50 mark, Pony.ai’s car is able to safely and efficiently handle a complicated road scenario. As pedestrians and cyclists suddenly cut into or stop in the middle of the path, Pony.ai’s car is able to reduce its speed, stop momentarily, and bypass a motorcyclist while keeping a safe distance from surrounding objects at all times—these nuances are representative of Pony.ai’s technology and emphasis on road safety.

Pony.ai has also made considerable progress in handling inclement weather conditions; extreme weather such as torrential downpour or extreme cold no longer pose challenges for the company’s self-driving cars. Pony.ai has developed a specific module in-house to handle this sort of inclement weather. This module enables Pony.ai to smoothly handle extreme and complex weather scenarios, reaching new heights in autonomous vehicle safety.

Pony.ai’s launch coincides with Guangzhou’s annual light festival. This year, Pony.ai has specified a path in which city locals are able to experience Pony.ai’s self-driving cars while enjoying the city’s festival decor. During the ride, Pony.ai engineers will be providing an overview of the key technology that the autonomous car uses, thus shedding light on what is often regarded as a “black box” technology.

In early February, Pony.ai will host an event in Nansha in which a group of guests will be able to partake in the fleet’s soft launch. The company also plans to share its latest news on commercialization at the event.