Hyundai will offer free self-driving rides in Irvine, California

The project will not explore technology as much as the people who use it – this will examine consumer behavior in interacting with autonomous services, said Christopher Chang of Hyundai. In other words, the automaker will use BotRide to design its self-driving cars and services not just from a theoretical point of view, but also from real-life experiences.

This is not as aggressive a rollout as Waymo One, which is a full-fledged commercial service with more specific goals. However, it is more ambitious than the fixed route shuttles that were available in some places. As such, it’s an indication of how self-propelled technology is evolving. While it takes a long time to whiz up a robotic ride, driverless systems are now far enough away to better meet the expected on-demand service.