Hyundai Motor Company has unveiled BotRide, a shared, on-demand, autonomous vehicle service that will start operating on public roads in California on November 4. The project is a collaboration with Pony.ai and Via. It will operate until January 31st, 2020.
A fleet of self-driving Hyundai KONA Electric SUVs will provide a free ride-sharing service to the local community of Irvine, California.
Hyundai says the goal of the project is to study consumer behaviour in an autonomous ride-sharing environment.
Christopher Chang, head of business development, strategy and technology division, Hyundai Motor Company, says: “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.”
Daniel Han, manager, Advanced Product Strategy, Hyundai Motor America, adds: “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.”
The 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 and predict the behaviour of other road users.