Self-driving tech firm Pony.ai may do U.S. IPO

Self-driving technology company Pony.ai may list its shares in the U.S.

The Toyota-backed firm wants to raise money to fund its goal of commercializing driverless ride-hailing services.

That's according to chief executive James Peng, who was talking exclusively to Reuters.

He says the startup plans to install its technology in hundreds of vehicles next year - rising to tens of thousands by 2024-25.

Pony.ai was founded by former engineers from Google and Baidu.

It's already raised around $1 billion, with close to half of that coming from Toyota.

Earlier this month it said it had started driverless testing in two areas of California, with tests also under way in China.

That's ahead of the planned launch of a robotaxi service next year.

Peng says the firm hasn't yet committed to a share sale, or set any time frame.

He says the next big challenges are to reduce the manufacturing costs for driverless cars, and then expand into more cities and regions.

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