Pony.ai obtained Shenzhen’s first-ever demonstration application license for unmanned autonomous driving services. The approval allows Pony to offer L4 autonomous ride-hailing services to the general public within the city’s central areas. Pony also got approval to charge the paying public for pilot unmanned robotaxi commercial service in Beijing, with only remote monitoring and no safety operator in the car. Pony presently is running L4 autonomous unmanned tests simultaneously in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen.
Beijing has started city-airport autonomous shuttle testing with Baidu’s Apollo Go robotaxi. As the world’s largest autonomous driving service provider, Baidu’s Apollo Go had processed over 3.3 million orders as of 20 June, 2023. In the second quarter of 2023, Apollo Go provided 714,000 rides.
Pony.ai has initiated robotaxi service test from Beijing Daxing International Airport. In the current phase, Pony primarily conducts road testing among over 600 locations within the Beijing Economic-Technological Development Area and Daxing Airport terminals, with a human safety driver in each car.
Baidu Apollo Go has been approved for trial operation of unmanned commercial robotaxi service in Beijing. This will allow residents to buy autonomous driving services with no safety operator in the vehicle. Users can summon an Apollo Go robotaxi through the Apollo Go App, Baidu Maps, and the Baidu App. User satisfaction ratings, for what they’re worth, are running at 4.9 out of 5.
Construction of China’s first L4 autonomous driving smart highway is wrapping up. The project covers the Suzhou-Taizhou Expressway S17 over 56 km, from the Huangdai Interchange to Yangchenghu North Interchange, with system integration and testing completed the end of September. 270 perception devices have been installed, including lidar, millimeter-wave radar, cameras, and road-side unit (RSU) antennas.
Ford has filed an application with the U.S. Patent Office for technology related to machine-vision detection of automobile brake lights. Ford is developing software to use camera and lidar sensing to determine when vehicles ahead have their brake lights on. This information will then be used by the ADAS or autonomous driving system to take appropriate actions.
Mercedes-Benz has launched Drive Pilot, the world’s first certified L3 system for conditional automated driving, in the U.S. market. The system will make its initial debut in California and Nevada this year in the EQS sedans. By early 2024, MB aims to roll out 2024-model EQS sedan and S-Class models equipped with Drive Pilot. The system will be available as a perpetual-pay subscription via Mercedes Me store, starting at $2,500.
The UK has launched evolvAD, a state-of-the-art AD research initiative supported by Nissan and the UK Government. The project’s primary goal is to enhance autonomous driving capabilities in diverse and challenging road conditions, spanning from urban residential settings to complex rural terrains. The government’s £100m Intelligent Mobility fund, overseen by the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV), is managed by Innovate UK.
A study sponsored by Waymo has concluded that Waymo’s AVs are safer than human-operated cars. This study was a collaborative effort begun last year between Waymo and insurance company Swiss Re, and concluded that Waymo’s AD tech slashed property damage claims frequency by 76 per cent relative to human drivers (3.26 versus 0.78 claims per million miles). The Waymo AD eradicated bodily injury claims altogether, versus Swiss Re’s baseline of 1.11 human-driver claims per million miles.
Chinese auto brand Zeekr has executed a significant OTA update to 110,000 Zeekr 001 EVs. The update incorporates upgraded ADAS features powered by the Mobileye SuperVision platform. The newly enhanced Navigation Zeekr Pilot has garnered favorable feedback from over 1,000 beta users. Initial availability is in Shanghai and Hangzhou, with plans for expansion to multiple cities in the coming months. A similar OTA update is expected for Zeekr 009 multipurpose vehicles later this year.