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Hyundai-backed Motional Launches A Robotaxi Service in Los Angeles


Motional, the auto joint venture of Hyundai and Aptiv, is launching a commercial robot taxi service in Los Angeles in an extended partnership with Lyft, a mobility service provider. The coming launch is a pioneering step for the driverless car service that will soon become popular in the city of angels.

The service will feature Hyundai IONIQ 5 EVs without a human safety driver. IONIQ 5 is a strategic electric vehicle model in the development roadmap of environmentally friendly vehicles using renewable energy.

No further update on the exact launch date has yet been given. Upon the launch, the vehicle is expected to show up fully autonomous. Motional said in a previous statement that fully driverless cars will be available next year. It also means that the service is not coming by at least the end of this year.

On August 16, the robotaxi service officially launched, marking the first time consumers could ride in a completely electric self-driving Hyundai IONIQ 5. However, in case something goes wrong, the vehicle still has an assistant driver behind the wheel. Motional has conducted multiple tests on driverless vehicles in Las Vegas for 4 years.

Customers anticipate that Motional’s self-driving cars will have access to new Lyft features that will enhance the service’s exclusivity. According to Motional and Lyft, the new functionalities will be enabled following a comprehensive study and input from testers in order to maximize user comfort and usage.

Motional was founded in March 2020, when Hyundai announced a $1.6 billion investment to catch up with competitors in the realm of driverless vehicles. The company now has facilities in Las Vegas, Singapore, and Seoul, and its rides have been tested in Boston and Pittsburgh.

Motional still needs to obtain authorization to offer services to passengers. The company isn’t allowed to accept passengers and operate the services until its autonomous vehicles are granted the required permits from the Department of Motor Vehicles and Public Utilities Commission.

Only a small number of Level 4 driverless cars have been put on public roads. Waymo has been using Level 4 vehicles for a few years in a suburb of Phoenix, and they will soon be available in San Francisco. Cruise, a division of GM, runs a robotaxi service at night in San Francisco.

Article Source and Image: Motional