If you are in the Las Vegas area, keep an eye out for fully electric IONIQ5 robotaxis. The Hyundai Motor Group’s joint venture, Motional, along with Uber, announced Wednesday the launch of their public robotaxi service in Las Vegas.
Motional was established in March 2020 through a joint venture (JV) between Hyundai and sustainable tech company, Aptiv.
Last summer, we got our first look at Motional’s Level 4 autonomous IONIQ5 robotaxi as President and CEO Karl Iagnemma said the collaboration between Hyundai and Aptiv:
Enables us to manufacture a robotaxi that’s both highly safe and reliable, and is cost-optimized for global production.
Iagnemma added Motional is “focused on mass commercialization, and the IONIQ5 robotaxi is built for that” based on Hyundai’s E-GMP EV architecture.
Motional teamed up with delivery tech giant Uber to combine technologies in December. Within six months, the partners announced a pilot program for autonomous Uber Eats deliveries using IONIQ5 robotaxis in the greater Los Angeles area.
To further the relationship, Uber and Motional signed a 10-year commercial partnership in October to deploy the electric robotaxis for millions of riders and accelerate the wide-scale adoption of robotaxis.
Uber, Motional launch public IONIQ5 robotaxi service in Las Vegas
In a press release today, Uber and Motional revealed for the first time that public riders could access the IONIQ5 robotaxi service, which will kick off in Las Vegas, NV.
Akshay Jaising, Motional’s vice president of commercialization, commented on the historic launch, saying:
Today, Motional becomes the first AV company to conduct all-electric autonomous rides on the Uber network for public passengers. It’s a testament to our technology and the power of our partnership with Uber that we’re able to go from concept to consumer in such a short time. Las Vegas is the first of many cities in which Motional’s AVs will become an everyday transportation option for Uber customers looking for a safe and convenient ride.
According to the release, the partners are working with vehicle operators now to prepare for a fully driverless commercial service, expected to launch in 2023.
The fully electric IONIQ5 robotaxis will be available for UberX and Uber Comfort Electric in select markets, starting in Las Vegas and expanding to Los Angeles at a later (unspecified) date.
With today’s launch, Motional is the first AV company to conduct deliveries and rides on a major network. Those interested in taking a ride in the IONIQ5 robotaxis can choose UberX or Uber Comfort electric options through the app. However, with limited availability, an autonomous vehicle is not guaranteed.
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