Pony.ai, a Chinese autonomous vehicle (AV) technology company, has raised $462m in a funding round led by Japanese automaker Toyota Motor.

In the latest round, Toyota made an investment of $400m in the company, valuing the start-up at around $3bn.

Toyota’s recent investment builds on its existing partnership with Pony.ai to pilot AV operations in China, which was announced last year.

Both companies agreed to further strengthen their collaboration in autonomous driving technology development and mobility service deployment.

The enhanced collaboration will facilitate deeper integration of Pony.ai’s autonomous driving system with Toyota’s vehicle platforms and technologies.

Pony.ai and Toyota will also explore additional possibilities for mobility services.

Established in late 2016, Pony.ai develops autonomous mobility technologies and services in the US and China.

It focuses on the development of Level 4-standard autonomous driving technology, where the self-driving vehicle handles almost all driving situations independently.

In 2018, the company began testing its Robotaxi pilot service PonyPilot in Guangzhou, China. Last November, it rolled out the pilot service in California.

The latest proceeds will help the Chinese start-up to support its Robotaxi operations and accelerate technology development.

In 2018, Toyota also partnered with American ride-sharing company Uber Technologies to develop self-driving vehicles and introduce autonomous ride-sharing services.

Recently, the Japanese automaker announced the development of a new technology that identify and prevent the accidental application of car accelerators.