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Pony.ai loses permit to test autonomous vehicles with driver in California – TechCrunch

The California Department of Motor Vehicles on Tuesday revoked Pony.ai’s permit to test its autonomous vehicle technology with a driver because it failed to monitor driving records of safety drivers on its test permit.

“In reviewing Pony.ai’s request for a test permit extension, the DMV identified numerous violations in the driving records of active Pony.ai safety drivers,” a spokesperson for the DMV told TechCrunch, noting that Pony used 41 autonomous test vehicles and 71 safety vehicles had drivers on his permission.

“Due to the critical role of safety drivers in facilitating the safe testing of autonomous technology, and the need for these drivers to have a clean driving record as stipulated in the DMV’s regulations for autonomous vehicles, the DMV revokes the permit effective immediately.”

The news follows Suspension of pony driving licences, allowing it to test its AV technology without a human safety operator in the front seat in November 2021 following a reported collision in Fremont, California. At the time, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration suspected a software bug, so Pony recalled three vehicles with similar potential software problems.

The California DMV did not respond in a timely manner to requests for more information about the status of ponies’ suspended driverless testing permit, but if arguably the safer version of that permit — the one that requires a driver’s presence during testing — was revoked entirely, it’s unlikely that the DMV will reintroduce the startup’s driverless permit in the foreseeable future.

“If there is an unreasonable risk to public safety, the DMV may immediately suspend or revoke permits,” the agency told TechCrunch.

Pony currently has no active testing permits in California.

Meanwhile, in China, where most of Pony’s operations are located, the company has just received approval to offer driverless vehicles Ride-hailing services to the public on open roads in Beijing. The company also recently scored a Taxi license to operate a commercial service in Guangzhou.

Pony didn’t respond in time for comment.

Pony.ai loses permit to test autonomous vehicles with driver in California – TechCrunch Source link Pony.ai loses permit to test autonomous vehicles with driver in California – TechCrunch