Pony.ai, Hyundai, unveil BotRide

Nov. 6, 2019
BotRide is a shared, on-demand, autonomous vehicle service currently operating on public roads in California.

Pony.ai and Hyundai introduced BotRide, a shared, on-demand, autonomous vehicle service which began operating on public roads in Irvine, Calif., Nov. 4.

BotRide was introduced to several hundred Irvine residents with the goal to study consumer behavior in an autonomous ride-sharing environment and optimize the customer experience.

Using the BotRide app (iOS and Android) developed by Via, riders can hail an autonomous Hyundai KONA Electric SUV directly from their smartphone. 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.

With Pony.ai’s autonomous driving technology, the company says BotRide vehicles can navigate complex road scenarios safely and smoothly. These vehicles are equipped with Pony.ai’s sensor suite and software to perceive surrounding vehicles, handle pedestrian traffic in urban areas, 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 launched with multiple popular destinations where a passenger may hail a ride using the BotRide app, with the service area covering several residential, commercial and institutional points of interest. BotRide’s technology prioritizes passenger-to-system interactions such as automated onboard passenger verification, giving riders the chance to familiarize themselves with what the company describes as technologies expected to become commonplace in an autonomous mobility future.

In addition to the technology partners powering BotRide, the broader city and community ecosystem have also played a role in making BotRide possible.