Kakao Mobility and Hyundai Motor Group said Monday they have teamed up to debut a new taxi-hailing service using autonomous driving technology, with the first test-run set to be carried out within the year.
The two firms said they have recently signed a memorandum of understanding to test driverless driving technology and seek a mass-market debut of the new service.
Under the partnership, Hyundai Motor’s self-driving taxi RoboRide, based on the carmaker’s flagship electric model Ioniq 5, will be equipped with Kakao’s popular taxi-hailing app Kakao T.
RoboRide is a Level 4 EV that is considered a fully autonomous driving car even though a human driver still can request control.
“The latest agreement will offer opportunities for customers to experience Hyundai Motor Group’s autonomous driving service through Kakao Mobility’s platform. The two firms will collaborate for consumers’ convenient use of RoboRide in everyday life,” said Hyundai’s ADAS development head Jang Woong-jun.
“The collaboration between the top two firms in each field will usher in an era of advanced autonomous driving market in the country,” said Kakao Mobility’s Next Mobility Labs director Chang Sung-wook.
Kakao T, launched in 2015, boasts an accumulated 30 million users. Based on the massive user base, Kakao Mobility has been building partnerships with tech firms in the autonomous driving sector by sharing data and business know-how.
In the meantime, Hyundai Motor has carried out a pilot program using its RoboRide self-driving taxi in the Gangnam area, with an aim to collecting driving data and to upgrade its driving performance.