Toyota invests $ 400 million in unmanned technologyFebruary 26, 2020
The Japanese automaker has invested $ 400 million in Pony.ai to strengthen its ties with the Chinese supplier of autonomous driving systems.
Thanks to new investments, Toyota expects to expand partnerships with the technology provider for drones, formed last year, and increases the value of Pony.ai to more than $ 3 billion. The agreement allows “deeper integration” of Pony.ai technology into Toyota cars.
“This will allow us to accelerate the commercialization of autonomous vehicles. We will invest more in creating our own drone fleet, ”said Pony.ai CEO James Peng in an interview with Bloomberg TV.
Pony.ai focuses on achieving autonomy level 4, or fully autonomous standards, in which the car can handle all aspects of driving in most cases without human intervention.
According to foreign experts, over the past 2 years, 323 transactions have been completed related to autonomous cars, which raised a total of $ 14.6 billion, even amid concerns about the technology, given its high cost and complexity.
Last year, Toyota and Pony.ai announced the launch of a pilot project for testing public roads in Beijing and Shanghai using Lexus RX cars and the Pony.ai autonomous driving system. Currently, the companies plan to explore the possibilities of further cooperation in the field of mobile services.
Among the largest investors are Pony.ai, a startup founded in 2016, also includes Sequoia Capital China and IDG Capital. The total funding for the development of drones, taking into account the contribution of Toyota is $ 462 million, and existing investors have invested $ 62 million.
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