Pony.ai, an autonomous car startup based in Guangzhou, China, is launching a pilot program to test self-driving cars with a robotic taxi service called BotRide.
VentureBeat reports that the company has âproduct readyâ driverless cars in partnership with Hyundai, specifically the KONA electric SUV. Cars will have sensor hardware and software from Pony.ai to navigate.
The company said its technology can identify the behavior of nearby vehicles as well as people and use its software to navigate safely through urban areas.
The service will automatically check passengers, and the company said it currently has around 10 cars with human drivers behind the wheel for safety reasons. The service will operate six days a week, Monday through Saturday, and will operate on public roads in a variety of areas.
âThe pilot introduces BotRide to several hundred Irvine residents, including students. The goal is to study consumer behavior in an autonomous ride-sharing environment, âsaid Christopher Chang, director of business development for Hyundai Motor Company. âWe will discover the ecosystems where vehicles circulate and optimize the customer experience. BotRide is another example of Hyundai’s continued efforts to actively develop mobility technology expertise as well as the company’s commitment to providing more customer-friendly mobility services.
The company has also recently partnered with Toyota to explore the possibilities of âsafeâ driverless services in various automotive industries. There are plans to launch a pilot program in China to âaccelerate the development and deploymentâ of driverless vehicles, using Lexus RX cars.
The company ultimately wants to build level 4 self-driving cars, capable of performing driving operations without human supervision, in most cases.
The company has set a target for this in the next two to three years. Pony.ai uses radars, lidar and cameras to track all obstacles up to 200 meters from cars.