Hyundai to start autonomous ride-sharing service in Calif.


Hyundai Motor Co will offer autonomous ride-sharing services in California starting next month to study consumer behavior in an autonomous driving environment, the companies involved said on Friday.

The South Korean automaker will team up with Pony.ai, a self-driving startup, and mobility service provider Via to build a fleet of at least 10 Kona electric crossover vehicles that will provide an autonomous ride-sharing service called BotRide in Irvine, Calif.

Sequoia Capital China-backed Pony.ai, which also has a partnership with Toyota, will build self-driving systems with Hyundai, while Via will develop mobile phone applications for the service, the companies said.

While the vehicles will have self-driving functions, two safety operators will be onboard to take over if there is an emergency.

The service will start on Nov. 4.

Hyundai has announced plans to invest $35 billion in mobility and other auto technologies by 2025.




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