Earlies in July, Pony.ai, a Nansha-based self-driving car company, secured Beijing’s T3 autonomous vehicle testing license, which is the highest-level road test license that China has issued so far. Pony.ai became the second company that obtained this license, only after Baidu.
The T3 license recognizes the vehicle’s different abilities, such as, machine vision, routes and emergency handling. It also allows the vehicle to be tested on specified roads which are all located at the suburbs in Beijing including the Economic and Technological Development Zone, Haidian and Shunyi to avoid areas with heavy traffic flows.
Getting a T3 license is similar as people getting their driving license as they both required a series of tests on the skills to recognize roads and traffic signs and to respond under designated situations. A third party institution will also examine the vehicle’s controller and guarantee the safety of the road tests.
Thus far, Pony.ai has set up R&D centers in Silicon Valley, Beijing, and Guangzhou, and its team is composed of more than 130 top skilled professionals. It obtained the road test license in California in June 2017 and operated the first public road test nationwide in Nansha on February 2 this year.
Reported by Jasmine Yin, Rebecca Tao
Edited by Olivia Ouyang