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SAIC Teams Up With Pony.ai to Build a Fleet of Electric Robotaxis Based on the Marvel R

Chinese automotive giant SAIC announces a new collaboration, this time with Pony.ai, an autonomous driving technology company. The two plan to build a fleet of autonomous vehicles equipped with the latter’s L4-level driverless solutions.
SAIC and Pony.ai Electric Robotaxi Concept Car 6 photos
SAIC and Pony.ai Concept RobotaxiMG Marvel R InteriorMG Marvel RMG Marvel RSAIC and Pony.ai Concept Robotaxi
The recently announced partnership involves SAIC AI Lab, one of the divisions of SAIC Motors, established three years ago. A concept vehicle was already launched by the two associates and is based on the Marvel R model.

As specified by Pony.ai and SAIC AI Lab, the concept car boasts a compact and streamlined design. It comes with a foldable steering wheel meant to “provide a human-machine interaction experience that significantly advances automobile autonomy”.

The driverless vehicle is equipped with state-of-the-art tech. It packs 17 integrated automotive-grade sensors, whose role is to create a 360-degree visual range and cover a distance of 200 meters (656 ft). This increases safety on the road, eliminating blind spots around the car.

When it comes to the production version of the driverless EV, Pony.ai and SAIC plan to work together on all important aspects of the robotaxi, from the chassis to all the vital technologies such as the human-machine interface, remote assistance, the smart cockpit, and so on.

The ultimate purpose of this collaboration is to create an entire fleet of these self-driving vehicles, speeding up the commercial adoption of robotaxi services throughout China. Meanwhile, though, SAIC and Pony.ai plan to take advantage of the launch of the Shanghai Driverless Demo Zone, which is part of the National Intelligent Vehicle Pilot program in Shanghai. That area is perfect for conducting tests with these kinds of vehicles. The demo zone will eventually include 3.8 km (2.3 miles) of semi-closed roads at the Shanghai Auto Expo Park, with the first 1.2 km (0.7 miles) being already in use. The rest should be completed by the end of this year.

We have no info yet on when SAIC AI Lab and Pony.ai plan to mass produce their electric robotaxi, but we’ll keep you posted.

press release
 

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