Pony.ai, a service working on self-driving cars, has raised $112 million in its Series A funding round, beating out the average by a long-shot despite being a relative newcomer on the field.
This round has already pushed them into the spotlight, making them a competitor for giants such as Google and Uber almost overnight.
Most of the funding came from Chinese businesses, hoping that Pony.ai will bring autonomous cars to the forefront of China's car markets.
Pony.ai was born from the developments of China's Baidu search engine, with developers eventually leaving the project to start their own work. James Peng and Tiancheng Lou started the project together, and have been working on it hard since day one.
“I think in the grand scheme of things the biggest challenge is still the uncertainty in the open driving environment,” James Peng said. “Robots have been out there for 30-40 years, and most of them are working in somewhat confined environments. Vehicles themselves are like robots, but they have to operate in uncertain environments."
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