Uber has announced it is partnering with the Hyundai and Aptiv joint venture Motional to launch a public “robotaxi” service in Las Vegas.
For the first time, Uber customers will be able to hail an autonomous ride using Motional’s all-electric Hyundai IONIQ 5-based driverless vehicle.
The companies say they are laying the groundwork for a fully driverless commercial service, with the goal of launching it to the public in 2023.
“Today, Motional becomes the first AV company to conduct all-electric autonomous rides on the Uber network for public passengers,” said Akshay Jaising, Motional’s Vice President of Commercialization. “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.”
This service is the first in Motional and Uber’s 10-year commercial partnership that will see Motional’s Level 4 autonomous vehicles deployed for ride-hail and deliveries on the Uber network in major cities across the U.S.
The public robotaxi service will first launch in Las Vegas before expanding at a later date to Los Angeles.
The Las Vegas pilot arrives just a few months after Motional and Uber finalised the multi-year partnership, demonstrating that both companies are committed to entering new markets and introducing autonomous technology at scale to millions of Uber customers – all while making meaningful progress on leading the industry to zero emissions.
“Motional has proven themselves to be an industry leader, steadily and safely progressing autonomous technology towards a driverless future,” said Noah Zych, Global Head of Autonomous Mobility and Delivery at Uber. “We’re thrilled to take this next step together in Las Vegas, and look forward to continuing to integrate autonomous technologies into the Uber network to grow our business by providing customers with additional reliable, affordable and effortless transportation and delivery options.”
(Picture – Motional)