China gets its first commercial self-driving taxi service after two years of testing

China gets its first commercial self-driving taxi service after two years of testing
  • has commercialized robotaxi service in China.
  • The company had to qualify two years of autonomous driving tests.
  • For now, 100 robotaxi will operate in Guangzhou.
The Chinese self-driving company, backed by Toyota, gets taxi license to operate 100 autonomous vehicles as traditional taxis in Nansha, Guangzhou. has become the first company in the world to give robotaxi services in any city.

Back in November 2021, gained approval for testing 67 vehicles in Beijing. The company also tried to establish its presence in the US but it has faced set back after its autonomous vehicles crashed in California on 28 October 2021, resulting in its permit getting suspended.

According to, it has completed around 700,000 trips since April 2022 and 80% of riders are repeat customers.

For qualifying taxi license, had to pass safety and other multifaceted vehicle qualification tests that were set by national inspection institutions. The company has to go through 24 months of testing, 1 million kilometers of testing and 200,000 kilometers of testing within Guangzhou. was founded by James Peng and Tiancheng Lou in California, in 2016. According to the company's vision, they aim to bring sustainability, safe and accessible mobility across the globe. The company has partnered with leading original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) like Toyota, FAW Group, and GAC Group.


With the taxi license permit, will start operation in May. It will start charging fares in the 800 square kilometers of Nansha with its 100 robotaxis. The company also plans to expand its footprint to the other areas of Guangzhou and other tier-1 cities in China next year.

To book a ride and pay for the service, passengers will use PonyPilot+ App. Robotaxis will operate both day and night time (8:30 to 22:30). The taxi fares will be standard.

Currently, autonomous vehicles will have a driver present in the car but the company plans to remove them over a period of time.

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