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Irvine Gets Autonomous Delivery Program

Irvine consumers could start to see more autonomous vehicles making grocery deliveries in the city with a new program launched this week.

Fremont-based autonomous technology developer Pony.ai said its fleet of self-driving cars will be used to deliver groceries from Los Angeles-based Yamibuy to Irvine customers. The service, which began Thursday and runs through mid-summer, is aimed at addressing what the company said in a statement was a “surge of online orders” resulting from COVID-19.

This is the first time the autonomous cars are being used for delivery. Pony.ai already has a taxi fleet in Irvine, which has been around since November.

The tech company had linked with Hyundai Motor Co., which has U.S. headquarters in Fountain Valley, on an Irvine rideshare pilot last year.

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