Hyundai Debuts Robotaxi Service

  • General
  • October 25, 2019
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  • 5 minutes read
image: Hyundai

Hyundai has announced a new robotaxi service that’ll launch in the city of Irvine, California on the 4th of November. The new robotaxi service, dubbed BotRide, is developed in collaboration with Pony.ai, a well-known self-driving startup, and Via, a popular ride-sharing service. Pony.ai is responsible for the self-driving technology while Via caters to the app required to match passengers with the self-driving vehicles. The vehicle adopted by BotRide is the Hyundai Kona electric SUV, a fleet of which will be available for free rides to Irvine residents.

The Hyundai Konas that’ll be used will be equipped with sensor hardware and proprietary software from Pony.ai, designed to navigate roads autonomously as the case has been with several robotaxi services. Via on the other hand is responsible for algorithms that’ll enable multiple riders share the same vehicle. BotRide will be accessible via dedicated iOS and Android apps. In-app, passengers will be directed to nearby stops for pick-up and drop-off, allowing for easy boarding and accessibility.

BotRide will cover popular destinations in the city of Irvine, spanning several residential, commercial, and institutional points of interest. The robotaxi service, being free, will give riders a cost-less chance to familiarize with autonomous technologies that are envisaged to become commonplace in future time.

image: Hyundai

“The goal [of BotRide] is to study consumer behavior in an autonomous ride-sharing environment,” Christopher Chang, Hyundai’s head of business development, strategy and technology division, said in a statement. “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.” He said.

“The BotRide pilot represents an important step in the deployment and eventual commercialization of a growing new mobility business. In addition to the technology partners powering BotRide, the broader city and community ecosystem have also played an important role in making BotRide possible. The BotRide pilot can serve as an example of how cities and companies can come together to truly enable smart cities and smart transportation systems of the future.” Daniel Han, a manager for Advanced Product Strategy at Hyundai, added.

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