Pony.ai unveils next-gen robotaxi using Lidar sensors from Luminar

Autonomous technology company Pony.ai has introduced their next-generation robotaxi, integrated with lidar sensors developed by Luminar Technologies, Inc.

The vehicles will use four of Luminar’s Iris Sensors –two on the roof and two more on each side of the car – as well as a multi-sensor 360-degree configuration and a slim profile roofline at just 10cm off the vehicle roof.

Described by Austin Russell, Luminar’s founder and CEO as a“slim form factor that’s meant to be seamlessly integrated into the vehicle design,” the company’s design conceals the cone-shaped lidar system perched on the roof of most autonomous vehicles today.

“Today, we’re finally seeing the line blur between what we’ve known as beautiful consumer car design and the look of a Robotaxi,” said Jason Wojack, Lumiar’s Senior Vice President of Product Development. “This is a true moment in the evolution of vehicle design and innovation.”

The partnership followed Pony.ai’s expansion of Robotaxi services across five cities in China and the U.S. including Guangzhou, Shanghai, Beijing, Irvine, and Fremont, CA. The company claims to be the first company to roll out a public-facing Robotaxi service in California.

Pony.ai has announced it has driven more than five million kilometres across an operational coverage area of over 850km2 and has provided more than 220,000 Robotaxi rides.

“Partnering with Luminar is a critical enabling milestone for Pony.ai as we build our next-generation system and prepare for large-scale series production,” said James Peng, CEO and Founder of Pony.ai.

“Luminar is in a league of their own when it comes to lidar and shares our belief that delivering autonomous mobility globally will enable a safe and sustainable future. We’re excited to realise that vision together with them.”

The goal of the partnership is to increase safe, autonomous driving in complex urban environments with an integrated sensor design that leads advanced development to production scale.

Preparations for mass production of the next-gen robotaxi are already underway, with testing to begin in 2022 and ready for customers in 2023.

Source: Luminar | Pony.ai Launches World’s Most Evolved Autonomous Driving Platform with Luminar

13 May 2021

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