California DMV revokes Pony.ai permit to test autonomous vehicles with a safety driver

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Pony.ai now finds itself without any testing permits in California after the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) revoked their permit to test their autonomous vehicles with a safety driver behind the wheel.

According to a California DMV spokesperson, the reason the Pony.ai license was revoked was because they failed to monitor the driving records of its safety drivers listed on the permit. The company has 71 safety drivers listed, along with 41 different test vehicles.

“While reviewing Pony.ai’s application to renew the testing permit, the DMV found numerous violations on the driving records of active Pony.ai safety drivers,” a spokesperson told TechCrunch

The DMV said that having up to date information on the drivers is critical in ensuring the public is kept safe during testing.

“Because of the critical role of safety drivers to facilitate the safe testing of autonomous technology and the need for these drivers to have a clean driving record as established by the DMV’s autonomous vehicle regulations, the DMV is revoking the permit, effective immediately,” the spokesperson added.

The loss of the permit follows the loss of their other permit that allowed them to test their technology without a safety driver last year. That was the result of one of the cars being involved in a single vehicle accident after turning left, ramping a curb and running into a street sign.

A subsequent investigation tied the possible cause to an issue with their software. Pony.ai said an issue could occur in very rare circumstances in which a planning system diagnostic check “could generate a ‘false positive’ indication of a geolocation mismatch.”

The company issued a recall through the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) in March.

While Pony.ai is having trouble in North America, they are experiencing the opposite in China. Last month the company became the first autonomous driving company to obtain a driverless taxi license in the country.

Pony.ai receives license to offer autonomous taxi rides in China

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About Darryn John 5343 Articles
Founder and Editor-in-chief of Drive Tesla Canada | Darryn@DriveTeslaCanada.ca Have a Tesla tip? Email tips@driveteslacanada.ca, or DM us on Twitter @DriveTeslaca