|Toyota, Pony.Ai to Set up Robotaxi JV with $139 Mln Investment|
|Kodiak Robotics Considers Partnership with Navistar for Autonomous Trucking|
|Self-driving taxis coming to Nashville, testing already underway|
|HL Group to supply autonomous driving solutions to U.S. EV maker|
1. Toyota, Pony.Ai to Set up Robotaxi JV with $139 Mln Investment
- Autonomous vehicle startup Pony.Ai is forming a joint venture with Toyota Motor to mass-produce robotaxis, investing 1 billion yuan ($139 million).
- The joint venture will include Toyota’s partnership with Chinese state-owned Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC), and GAC-Toyota will manufacture vehicles using Pony.ai’s ride-hailing software.
- This collaboration builds upon the partnership established in 2019 between Pony.ai and Toyota, with the latter having invested substantial funds in Pony.ai.
- Pony.ai has already introduced robotaxi services in Beijing and Guangzhou, operating in both China and the United States.
- Toyota’s recent focus has been on developing “smart cockpits” tailored to the Chinese market, as part of its strategy to transition towards electric vehicles and compete with local rivals.
The collaboration between Pony.Ai and Toyota signifies a significant step towards the mass production of autonomous vehicles for ride-hailing services. This joint venture aims to leverage Toyota’s manufacturing capabilities and Pony.Ai’s autonomous technology to scale up the production of robotaxis.
2. Kodiak Robotics Considers Partnership with Navistar for Autonomous Trucking
- Kodiak Robotics is considering a partnership with Navistar to integrate their Kodiak Driver autonomous system into Navistar’s trucks.
- Kodiak recently received a substantial order for their autonomous system from Loadsmith, which initially planned to use TuSimple’s system.
- Kodiak’s CEO, Don Burnette, believes their system’s demand will lead to multiple partnerships with truck manufacturers over time.
- Integrating Kodiak’s technology onto OEM platforms and assembly lines will take time.
- Navistar ended its partnership with TuSimple but is exploring potential partnerships in the autonomous trucking space.
- Kodiak will focus on developing the autonomous system and rely on OEMs to provide the complete package of virtual drivers.
- Integration with an OEM is crucial for scaling Kodiak’s technology and making it widely accessible.
The consideration of OEM integration demonstrates that while autonomous technology developers like Kodiak focus on core systems, collaborations with established manufacturers become essential to create complete, market-ready solutions.
3. Waymo announces Austin as its fourth major city
- Waymo, a self-driving technology company under Alphabet, announces Austin as its fourth major ride-hail city.
- Waymo has been conducting extensive testing in downtown Austin using all-electric Jaguar I-PACE vehicles to familiarize the Waymo Driver with the city’s complexities.
- Testing phase successful, initial operations to begin in fall, followed by fully autonomous deployment and public rides.
- Waymo intends to offer a comprehensive and accessible service covering popular Austin locations day and night.
- Autonomous vehicles can improve road safety, a crucial factor given Austin’s recent road fatalities.
- Waymo collaborates with Austin accessibility advocates to tailor the service for underserved groups, including the visually impaired.
- Waymo’s zero-emissions ride-hailing aligns with Austin’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2040.
- Residents can join the waitlist to experience self-driving rides as Waymo One launches in Austin.
Austin’s selection as a location for Waymo’s expansion could also be influenced by its fast-growing economy and potential commercial opportunities. The focus on road safety and potential reduction in accidents due to autonomous vehicles could contribute to a safer transportation environment in Austin. Waymo’s alignment with Austin’s emissions reduction goals supports the city’s sustainability efforts and provides a more environmentally friendly transportation option.
4. Self-driving taxis coming to Nashville, testing already underway
- Cruise, a self-driving car company, is expanding its driverless taxi service to Nashville.
- CEO Kyle Vogt announced the expansion on July 27, with plans for driverless vehicles to be seen in Nashville in a few months.
- Testing of the service began on July 28, with the aim of learning the city’s roads and driving behaviors.
- Cruise intends to fine-tune its AI technology to understand Nashville’s unique elements before deploying fully driverless vehicles.
- The expansion to Nashville marks Cruise’s move from 1 city to 7 within a year.
- Cruise is an all-electric, driverless car company backed by GM, focused on improving road safety, reducing emissions, and congestion through autonomous ride-hail and delivery services.
- The company has already accumulated over 3 million driverless miles and operates in San Francisco, Phoenix, and Texas.
Testing in Nashville before full deployment showcases Cruise’s cautious and strategic approach to ensuring safety and effectiveness in new urban environments. Cruise’s focus on fine-tuning its AI technology based on local nuances reflects the challenges of adapting self-driving systems to different driving behaviors and urban layouts.
5. HL Group to supply autonomous driving solutions to U.S. EV maker
- South Korea’s HL Group, formerly Halla Group, will supply autonomous driving components to U.S.-based Lucid Group Inc., expanding its presence in North America.
- HL Klemove, a subsidiary of HL Group, has secured an agreement with Lucid Motors to provide autonomous driving solutions for Lucid’s upcoming large electric SUV, Gravity.
- The components supplied by HL Klemove include the virtual engine sound system (AVAS), all-around radar, and forward-facing cameras for the Gravity.
- Lucid plans to mass-produce 50,000 units of the Gravity annually, suggesting a substantial order for the components.
- Lucid Motors, founded in 2007 by former Tesla executive Bernard Tse, is a significant player in the EV market with a factory in Arizona capable of producing 350,000 units per year.
- HL Klemove also supplies autonomous driving solutions to Rivian Automotive Inc., equipping around 80,000 vehicles, including electric pickup trucks.
- The company was established through a merger in 2021 and holds over 2,180 patents related to autonomous driving technology.
- HL Klemove aims to develop fully autonomous driving core products by the next year and achieved significant operating profit and sales in the previous year.
The supply of autonomous driving components for Lucid’s Gravity SUV emphasizes the increasing importance of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and self-driving technology in modern electric vehicles. Lucid Motors’ production capacity and ambitions in the EV market make it an attractive partner for component suppliers like HL Group, showcasing the demand for cutting-edge technologies.
*Contents above are the opinion of ChatGPT, not an individual nor company