The pilot robotaxi service will be conducted with Jin Mobility, a Korean start-up company that works with AI to operate a car-hailing mobility platform called i.M. We can think of a certain “Will” who might not like that name, but that is another matter.
Because the vehicles in question are trialing an SAE Level 4 autonomous drive system, that means that a human driver will always be present behind the wheel.
The safety driver will be there to respond to any emergency, and will not do any driving at all, as their role is to have a backup for the system, as well as intervene in limited conditions. For example, if there is an external barrier that needs the press of a button to operate or things like that.
Initially, the RoboRide pilot service, as it is called, will only operate from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and it will initially only be accessible to internally selected personnel.
From there, the pilot service will be expanded to general customers, but it is unclear if the latter will be charged for the experience, or if all rides in the Ioniq 5 robotaxi will be free.
The Hyundai Motor Group has noted that it has been preparing for this since 2019 and has been working with the Seoul Metropolitan Government to implement a system to connect traffic signals with autonomous vehicles (V2I communication, mind you). The company also completed tests in the area for several years now.