Self-driving rideshare service launches

A fleet of autonomous cars has hit the streets of Irvine. BotRide, a pilot program from Hyundai, provides a free rideshare service that uses self-driving electric SUVs.

Passengers must first download an app that allows them to request a ride. The app directs the user to a nearby pickup location. The rideshare technology allows multiple passengers headed to the same drop-off point to share a ride efficiently, without lengthy detours, the company says.

“Hyundai is leveraging cutting- edge autonomous vehicle and mobility technologies to introduce a new, safe, and convenient form of transportation to the public,” says Daniel Han, manager, Advanced Product Strategy, Hyundai Motor America.

The cars won’t be without human supervision just yet. The vehicles currently have two Hyundai engineers at the controls to monitor performance, observe traffic conditions and ensure the safety of passengers and other motorists.

The three-month pilot program serves a specific geographic area that includes routes convenient for UCI students. Hyundai has teamed with the university to market the service to students.