Hyundai autonomous cars hit the streets in Irvine, California

Riders can hail an autonomous Hyundai Kona Electric SUV directly from a smartphone

Hyundai, in collaboration with Pony.ai and Via, today unveiled BotRide, a shared, on-demand, autonomous vehicle service operating on public roads. 

Starting on November 4, a fleet of self-driving Hyundai Kona Electric SUVs will provide a free ride-sharing service to the local community of Irvine, California.

“The pilot introduces BotRide to several hundred Irvine residents, including college students. The goal is to study consumer behavior in an autonomous ride-sharing environment,” said Christopher Chang, head of business development, strategy and technology division, Hyundai Motor Company. “We are going to learn about ecosystems, where the vehicles travel and optimize the customer experience. BotRide, is another example of Hyundai’s ongoing efforts to actively build expertise in mobility technology as well as the company’s commitment to providing more user-friendly mobility services to customers.”

Hyundai partnered with Pony.ai to build the self-driving system and with Via to create the BotRide on-demand ridesharing technology and application. Using the BotRide app (iOS and Android), riders can hail an autonomous Hyundai Kona Electric SUV directly from their smartphone. Via’s advanced algorithms enable multiple riders to share the same vehicle, outfitted with Pony.ai autonomous vehicle technology. The app directs passengers to nearby stops for pick up and drop off, allowing for quick and efficient shared trips without lengthy detours, or inconvenient fixed routes and schedules.

These vehicles are equipped with Pony.ai’s latest sensor hardware and proprietary software to identify the precise position of surrounding vehicles, handle pedestrian traffic in urban areas, accurately monitor its surroundings, predict the behavior of other road users, and precisely plan actions accordingly.

In addition to self-driving capabilities, BotRide is validating its user experience in preparation for a fully driverless future.

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