Hyundai To Pilot Autonomous Car-Hailing Service In Seoul

Hyundai Motor Group will pilot a ‘RoboRide’ car-hailing service in Gangnam, Seoul, South Korea, using Ioniq 5 battery electric vehicles with Level 4 autonomous driving technology developed in-house. According to Hyundai, RoboRide will be the first car-hailing service with autonomous driving vehicles to operate in Gangnam, one of the most congested areas in metropolitan Seoul.

For the pilot service, Hyundai has received a temporary autonomous driving operation permit from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport of Korea. It will collaborate with Korean start-up Jin Mobility, which will operate two Ioniq 5 RoboRide vehicles on its artificial intelligence powered car-hailing mobility platform i.M.

Hyundai plans to expand the pilot service, while further developing autonomous driving technology considering various conditions such as driving stability.

“At Hyundai Motor Group, we are developing Level 4 autonomous driving technology based on [our] internally developed [advanced driver-assistance systems] (ADAS), whose functionality and safety are verified through mass production and successful commercial [launches],” said Woongjun Jang, Senior Vice President and Head of the Autonomous Driving Center at Hyundai Motor Group. “We expect this RoboRide pilot service will be an important inflection point that will enable us to internalise autonomous driving technology.”

Through the pilot, Hyundai expects to collect driving data and plans to further develop Level 4 autonomous driving technology to navigate safely and flexibly in complicated urban environments.

To prepare for such a driving environment, Hyundai has also worked with Seoul Metropolitan Government to establish a system that can connect traffic signals with autonomous vehicles. It has also gathered driving data since 2019 by testing autonomous driving in the Gangnam area.

The company said it will also provide a remote vehicle assist system developed in-house to ensure safety. The system monitors autonomous driving status, the vehicle and the route, and supports the trip with remote assist functions such as changing the lane under circumstances where autonomous driving is not feasible. Based on Level 4 autonomous driving technology, a RoboRide vehicle will perceive, make decisions, and control its own driving status.

Being a Level 4 system, RoboRide will have a safety driver who will intervene where necessary and respond to any emergency.

Providing space for up to three passengers, the RoboRide pilot service will operate short hours – from 10 am to 4 pm Monday to Friday – to minimise potential inconvenience on the road. Hyundai plans to operate an initial demonstration service for internal staff and expand the pilot service targets to customers in the future.