Ride-sharing company Lyft and driverless technology company Motional announced today the launch of the new all-electric Hyundai IONIQ 5-based robotaxi, which will offer fully driverless rides on Lyft’s Las Vegas network.
Motional and Lyft have been providing driverless rides in Las Vegas on the ride-hail company’s network in the city since 2018. However, the introduction of the Hyundai IONIQ 5 is especially groundbreaking because it is the first all-electric autonomous vehicle to enter the Lyft network. It is also the next milestone in the two companies’ goal to scale their driverless service to other U.S. cities beginning in 2023.
“Motional and Lyft have a clear path to widespread commercialization of Level 4 autonomous vehicles,” CEO and President of Motional Karl Iagnemma said. “We’ve led the industry in commercial operations for years, and today’s launch signals we’re on track to deliver a fully driverless service next year. Riders in Las Vegas can now experience Motional’s IONIQ 5 AV that will make that service a reality. Through our strategic partnership with Hyundai, the IONIQ 5 AV is fully customized for driverless ride-hail operation while maintaining the vehicle’s award-winning comfort and design.”
The introduction of a driverless ride system for Motional was monumental because it allowed people to get around Las Vegas without a driver’s help. Everything from unlocking the doors through the Lyft app, starting the ride, or needing customer service assistance can be done through the smartphone app. Motional has used years of customer feedback to refine and improve its riders’ experience.
“Building an experience that Lyft riders love is core to advancing this technology, and today’s launch provides riders access to Motional’s autonomous technology in a way that will feel seamless, familiar, and personalized, all on a network they already trust. We are designing an autonomous experience where the only expectation for riders is to relax and enjoy the ride.”
Since its first driverless ride in 2018, Motional and Lyft have given over 100,000 people first-hand experience with autonomous, driverless technology. Over 95 percent of riders have left a five-star review of the service, it said.
Motional was formed in 2020 by Hyundai and Aptiv, a global technology company that develops safer, greener, and more connected solutions enabling a more sustainable future of mobility.
Fully driverless service plans will launch in Las Vegas in 2023 and eventually expand to other U.S. cities. Motional has worked with various Las Vegas partners in its project, including the Innovation District by the City of Las Vegas, City of Las Vegas, Clark County, and the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada.
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