Hyundai Will Operate Self-Driving Car-Hailing Service, It's All Gangnam Style

Hyundai will start operating a car-hailing service with autonomous cars in Seoul, South Korea. The company has received all the necessary approvals, and it will operate two modified Ioniq 5 vehicles with an in-house developed level 4 autonomous driving system.
Hyundai Ioniq 5 Robotaxi 9 photos
Photo: Hyundai
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This is a pilot project, so Hyundai will not expand its fleet of self-driving Ioniq 5 vehicles across the country or even the city, as the project is set to only operate in the famous Gangnam district. The latter was made famous across the world thanks to a song by PSY that you might remember, which currently has 4,440,811,507 views.

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.
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Editor's note: For illustration purposes, the photo gallery shows images of Hyundai's previous prototypes of the self-driving Ioniq 5, not just the ride-hailing vehicle.

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About the author: Sebastian Toma
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Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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