Guangzhou based self-driving startup Pony.ai is joining an exclusive club of companies that have launched
autonomous ride-hailing programs. At this year’s Shanghai Auto Show, it took
the wraps off of PonyPilot, a test project for “product-ready”
driverless cars within a geofenced area in Guangzhou. It’s currently available
to Pony.ai employees and “select affiliates” by invitation only, and CEO James
Peng says it’s the culmination of years of continuous testing in the Nansha
district, according to Venture Beat.
Pony.ai says that PonyPilot
covers roughly 50 square kilometers of central Nansha, including commercial
plazas, office buildings, landmark hotels, libraries, and residential
complexes. Riders are able to hail cars at any predetermined point with a smartphone
app available through WeChat, and travel using point-to-point dynamic routing
to any other predetermined point within the area. During rides, passengers can
follow their vehicle’s location and driving decisions through mounted in-cabin
Pony.ai says it might
consider opening PonyPilot to the public in the future, and potentially beyond
the confines of Nansha. The company is currently testing driverless cars in
Fremont, California and Beijing, in addition to Guangzhou.
Shenzhen and Guangzhou, for the second consecutive year, won China’s unofficial “talent grab” contest. (No, it’s not the Chinese version of American Idol.) The two cities, followed by Xi’an, recorded the highest population growth rate in 2018, demonstrating their attractiveness to the “socially mobile generation”, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
Shenzhen added 498,300 people in 2018, bringing its total to 13.02 million. Guangzhou attracted 406,000, bringing its total to 14.9 million. The high growth rate also showed the two cities’ openness to welcome outsiders and their eagerness to attract young skilled workers, according to Chinese media.
Two other GBA cities, Foshan (8th) and Dongguan (21st), also made into the Top 30. Foshan added 249,000, bringing its total to 7.9 million. Dongguan, ranked 21st, brought in 49,700, bringing its total to 8.39 million.
Read more here (in Chinese)
Hong Kong’s Youth Development Commission has rolled out two new programs aimed at encouraging young entrepreneurs: the Funding Scheme for Experiential Programs at Innovation and Entrepreneurial Bases; and the Funding Scheme for Youth Entrepreneurship in the Greater Bay Area. The schemes aim at subsidizing Hong Kong NGOs to provide start-up assistance and incubation services that befit the needs of young people (aged between 18-40) who are about to start their businesses in Hong Kong and in other cities of the Greater Bay Area. This includes helping them settle in entrepreneurial bases and further helping them meet their initial capital needs.
Read more here or get the application here.