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Hyundai Motor Group to Pilot Autonomous Car-Hailing RoboRide Service in Seoul

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Hyundai Motor Group announced today it would pilot a RoboRide car-hailing service in Gangnam in Seoul, South Korea, utilizing IONIQ 5 battery electric vehicles (BEV) with in-house developed level 4 autonomous driving technology. The pilot 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, the Group has obtained a temporary autonomous driving operation permit from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT) of Korea. It will collaborate with Jin Mobility, a Korean startup operating the artificial intelligence (AI)-powered car-hailing mobility platform ‘i.M.’. Jin Mobility will manage the two IONIQ 5 RoboRide units on its i.M application. The Group also 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 the internally developed Advanced Driving Support System (ADAS), whose functionally and safety are verified through mass production and successful commercial launch,” said Woongjun Jang, Senior Vice President and Head of the Autonomous Driving Center of Hyundai Motor Group. “We expect this RoboRide pilot service will be an important inflection point that will enable us to internalize autonomous driving technology.” 

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

“We have been strengthening our capabilities by working on research and development with relevant institutions. Starting with the RoboRide pilot service in collaboration with Hyundai Motor Group, we look forward to leading the future mobility scene,” said Lee Seong-wook, CEO of Jin Mobility. “We will put our utmost effort into creating synergies through this pilot service.” 

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

In addition, the Group will provide an in-house developed remote vehicle assist system to ensure safety. The system monitors autonomous driving status, vehicle and route and supports the trip with remote assist functions, such as changing lanes under circumstances where autonomous driving is not feasible.

Based on the level 4 autonomous driving technology, a RoboRide vehicle will perceive, make decisions, and control its driving status, while its safety driver will only intervene under limited conditions.

The RoboRide pilot service will operate from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., from Monday to Friday, to minimize any possible inconveniences on the road. Up to three passengers can be on a ride, whereas a safety driver will be in the vehicle to respond to any emergencies.

The Group plans to operate an initial demonstration service for internally selected personnel and then expand the pilot service targets to general customers in the future.

To commemorate the pilot service, Won Hee-ryong, Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport of South Korea, and Oh Se-hoon, Mayor of Seoul City, became the first customers to test drive the RoboRide vehicle.


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