The City of Fremont, Calif., and autonomous technology company Pony.ai have launched a pilot program offering rides for a group of city employees via Pony.ai’s shared, on-demand, autonomous last-mile service. The participating employees will ride in Pony.ai autonomous vehicles from Fremont’s Amtrak/ACE Station to City Hall and another government office.
“By partnering with a local autonomous technology firm Pony.ai, the City of Fremont is acting as a test bed for a transportation solution that has the potential to alleviate congestion, reduce carbon emissions, decrease the number of traffic accidents, and optimize vehicle and land usage,” Fremont Mayor Lily Mei said in a release.
Each vehicle is equipped with Pony.ai’s autonomous driving technology along with a safety operator. Pony.ai’s proprietary full-stack autonomous driving technology serves as the “brains” of the future vehicle.
The Fremont Mobility Action Plan, adopted in March 2019, addresses both regional and local traffic congestion challenges and outlines the goal of decreasing drive-alone commuting from 73% to 50% by 2040. The Pony.ai pilot program is one solution the city is exploring to help meet this goal and serve the internal travel demands of Fremont’s growing population of 230,000 residents.
The City and Pony.ai’s pilot program team will monitor performance, user feedback, and unknowns for the duration of the pilot program.