Hyundai to test self-driving car service in California

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(San Francisco) – Hyundai announced that it will begin testing a self-driving ride service in Southern California next month.

The South Korean automaker said that it collaborated with technology group Pony.ai and rideshare firm Via for an on-demand service called BotRide that will offer free rides in autonomous vehicles in the city of Irvine starting on November 4.

“The pilot introduces BotRide to several hundred Irvine residents, including college students,” said Hyundai Motor Company head of business development, strategy and technology Christopher Chang.

“The goal is to study consumer behavior in an autonomous ride-sharing environment.”

People taking part in the pilot will be able to use a BotRide smartphone app to hail autonomous Kona electric sport utility vehicles, according to Hyundai.

Via software will coordinate shared rides from designated pick-up or drop-off points, and vehicles will be outfitted with Pony.ai self-driving technology, Hyundai said.