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Toyota-backed Pony.ai teams up with SAIC for EV 'robotaxi'

Chinese startup aims to speed up commercial development of driverless tech

Pony.ai is collaborating with China's largest auto manufacturer SAIC to develop a fully driverless electric "robotaxi." (Photo courtesy of Pony.ai)

HONG KONG -- Toyota-backed Chinese autonomous driving company Pony.ai is collaborating with China's largest auto manufacturer SAIC to develop a fully driverless electric "robotaxi," the company announced Tuesday.

The startup, which has bases in California and Guangzhou and is valued at $8.5 billion, will work with state-owned SAIC's AI Lab to codevelop a vehicle that allows full automated driving. The vehicle will feature a foldable steering wheel.

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