Home Bots & Brains Automated driving software recall by Pony.ai

Automated driving software recall by Pony.ai

by Pieter Werner

Startup technology firm Pony.ai has issued a recall for some versions of its autonomous driving system software. The reason for this recall is an October crash in California, according to U.S. regulators.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said this was the ‘first recall of an automated driving system’. The specific software at issue had been in use by three vehicles. In October last year a Pony.ai vehicle hit a street sign in autonomous mode in Fremont, California, after turning right. This lead suspension of the company’s driverless testing permit. Nobody one was injured in the incident.

Pony.ai, which is backed by Toyota, stated that in very rare circumstances, a planning system diagnostic check “could generate a ‘false positive’ indication of a geolocation mismatch.” The company also said it has fully cooperated with NHTSA’s informal inquiry concerning the incident and had immediately suspended its testing program to conduct a thorough review.

NHTSA told Pony.ai it believed the software had a safety defect and requested the company to conduct a recall, Pony.ai said in a filing. The company said it has updated the software code and the three affected vehicles have been repaired.


“Whether the vehicle is operated by a human driver or an automated driving system, the need to protect roadway users remains the same,” NHTSA Deputy Administrator Steven Cliff said in a statement. “As this first recall of an automated driving system underscores, NHTSA will ensure that vehicle manufacturers and developers prioritize safety while they usher in the latest technologies.”

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