Chinese driverless car firm launches autonomous deliveries in California as lockdown continues

Pony.ai

  • Pony.ai has teamed up with e-commerce site Yamibuy to launch a delivery service using its driverless cars.
  • Customers in Irvine, California, can order items from Yamibuy and get it delivered to their homes.

A Pony.ai spokesperson said the company can deliver somewhere between 500 to 700 packages a day.

Chinese driverless car start-up Pony.ai has launched a delivery service in Irvine, California using its autonomous vehicles as people remain stuck at home due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Last year, the company launched a robo-taxi service in Irvine in partnership with Hyundai using the South Korean automaker’s cars equipped with Pony.ai technology. That driverless taxi service was suspended after a “shelter-in-place” order was issued in northern California in March.

Pony.ai has repurposed its fleet of 10 vehicles for deliveries. It has teamed up with e-commerce site Yamibuy for the initiative.

Once a customer in the Irvine area places an order on Yamibuy, an autonomous car will pick up the package and deliver it to the destination. The customer can either come to the car to collect it or an operator, who will be in the car, will drop it off at the doorstep.

Yamibuy has a variety of products on its site — from food to drinks and cosmetics.

The whole process is contactless, the company claims. A Pony.ai spokesperson said the company can deliver somewhere between 500 to 700 packages a day.

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