Self-driving powers logistics in new joint venture
Integrated logistics operator Sinotrans Ltd has signed an agreement with self-driving startup Pony.ai to develop a joint venture and build a high-quality intelligent logistics platform with automatic driving technology, according to company sources.
Both sides will cooperate in-depth to jointly explore a new mode of large-scale commercial landing for autonomous trucks.
The joint venture, with a joint investment of 100 million yuan ($15.7 million), is expected to be put into operation in early 2022.
The two companies will provide efficient and low-cost transportation service and freight solutions by deploying more than 100 intelligent heavy truck fleets in its initial operation stage.
"We will accelerate the construction of high-quality transport capacity resources driven by science and technology and jointly tackle key core technologies in intelligent driving and green logistics," said Song Rong, Party chief of Sinotrans.
The cooperation will help push commercialization of self-driving technology and increasing the efficiency of green logistics, according to Peng Jun, co-founder and CEO of Pony.ai.
The company obtained a permit to test its autonomous trucks on public roads in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, in December 2020.
It was also granted a freight road transport business permit from local authorities in Nansha district of Guangzhou in April.
Truck logistics will become a key application scenario for Pony.ai's autonomous trucks, the company said. It aims to test self-driving trucks on more expressways to provide safer and more effective solutions to fill the labor gap and improve logistics efficiency.
As of November, Pony.ai has completed more than 50,000 kilometers of commercial self-driving by trucks, helping transport goods of 16,400 tons.