The California Department of Motor Vehicles on Tuesday revoked Pony.ai’s license to test its autonomous vehicle technology with a driver for failing to verify the safety drivers’ driving data on his test permit.
“While reviewing Pony.ai’s application to renew the testing license, the DMV discovered numerous violations of the driving records of active Pony.ai safety drivers,” a DMV spokesperson told businesstraverse.com, noting that Pony 41 autonomous drivers. test vehicles and 71 safety vehicles. drivers on his license.
“Due to the critical role of safety drivers in facilitating 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, with immediate effect.”
The news follows the suspension of Pony’s driverless license, allowing it to test its AV technology without a human safety operator in the front seat, in November 2021 following a reported collision in Fremont, California. At the time, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration suspected a software bug, so in March Pony recalled three vehicles with similar potential software issues.
The California DMV didn’t respond in time to requests for more information about the status of Pony’s suspended driverless testing license, but if the arguably safer version of that license — the one that requires a driver to be present during testing — has been revoked completely, it’s unlikely. that the DMV will reinstate the startup’s driverless license in the near future.
“If there is an unreasonable risk to public safety, the RDW can immediately suspend or revoke the permits,” the agency told businesstraverse.com.
Pony currently has no active testing licenses in California.
Meanwhile, in China, where most of Pony’s operations are located, the company has just been licensed to provide driverless taxi services to the public on Beijing’s public roads. The company also recently obtained a taxi license to operate a commercial service in Guangzhou.
Pony did not respond in time for comment.