Hyundai has unveiled its new ride-hailing service called BotRide in collaboration with Pony.ai and Via. The service will begin on 4th November on public roads of California with a fleet of self-driving Kona Electric SUVs providing free ride-sharing service to the local community of Irvine. Hyundai partnered with Pony.ai to build the self-driving system and with Via to create the BotRide on-demand ride-sharing technology and application.
Using the BotRide app available on iOS and Android, riders can hail an autonomous Hyundai Kona Electric SUV from their smartphone. Via’s 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.
Integrated Hyundai and Pony.ai technologies enable BotRide vehicles to navigate complex road scenarios safely. 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.
BotRide launches with multiple popular destinations where a passenger may hail a ride using the BotRide app. The service area covers several residential, commercial, and institutional points of interest. BotRide’s technology prioritises passenger-to-system interactions such as automated onboard passenger verification, giving riders the chance to familiarize themselves with technologies expected to become commonplace in an autonomous mobility future.
“The pilot introduces BotRide to several hundred Irvine residents, including college students. The goal is to study consumer behaviour 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 optimise 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.”
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