Self-driving startup Pony.ai immediately introduced an settlement with Bosch to “explore the future of automotive maintenance and repair for autonomous fleets.” Pony.ai and Bosch’s Automotive Aftermarket division in North America plan to develop and take a look at fleet upkeep options for industrial robo-taxi packages.
One of many alternatives within the autonomous driving area is the continual operation of a fleet and the discount of downtime. According to a 2017 McKinsey report, robo-taxis might scale back a fleet operator’s complete value of possession by 30% to 50% in contrast with private-vehicle possession and by about 70% in comparison with shared mobility, considerably disrupting the market. But robo-taxis will want vastly completely different upkeep infrastructure than automobiles, partially as a result of they could lack common monitoring; have solely minutes between passengers; and sport costly, delicate, and unconventional elements like lidar sensors.
Bosch asserts its automotive service community is able to meet this want with over 20,000 areas globally and a thousand in North America. It provides a software program platform for fleet operators like Pony.ai, with APIs that allow the trade of knowledge from related diagnostic tools and different applied sciences.
Pony.ai says it started piloting a upkeep program with Bosch within the San Francisco Bay Area in early July. It’s unclear whether or not this had something to do with the corporate’s supply partnership with Yamibuy, which launched in April, or whether or not it’d sign the return of Pony.ai’s robo-taxi trial service with Hyundai and Via. In May, following its determination to pause all testing in mild of shelter-in-place orders and enterprise closures motivated by the pandemic, Pony.ai instructed VentureBeat it had no plans to renew providers, together with its partnership with Fremont to move metropolis staff.
Pony.ai couldn’t be reached for remark at publication time. We’ll replace this text once we hear again.
Bosch’s Automotive Aftermarket enterprise is separate from its automotive provide wing, which produces elements resembling sensors, actuators, and management models. Bosch has a longstanding partnership with Daimler to get self-driving automobiles on roads throughout the subsequent decade, and the corporate has made its autonomous driving ambitions abundantly clear. In 2018, Bosch created a brand new Connected Mobility Services division staffed with greater than 600 staff, acquired B2B ride-sharing startup Splitting Fares, and partnered with TomTom on mapping methods that may assist autos see the highway forward.
Pony.ai is following within the footsteps of rival Waymo, which has upkeep contracts with Avis and AutoNation. Meanwhile, autonomous truck startup TuSimple just lately introduced it could accomplice with Penske’s truck leasing division for preventative inspections.