In 2020 Hyundai and Aptiv came together and developed Motional. This joint venture between the two companies is taking autonomous driving to new levels with the Ioniq 5 all-electric robotaxi.
What exactly is a robotaxi, you might ask? It might look like an Ioniq 5, but this car is not something you’ll find at your local Hyundai dealership. Take a look at their vision and how they are bringing it to life in Las Vegas.
Driverless Lyft Rides in Las Vegas
Motional officially launched their driverless robotaxi in Las Vegas. It’s on the Lyft network, so sometime in the near future, the next time you use the app to get a Lyft, the car that shows up to pick you up might just be a car with no driver behind the wheel. Motional and Lyft started testing the vehicles in a weeklong pilot during the Consumer Electronics Show in 2018, and since then, they have completed over 100,000 trips.
The Ioniq 5 Goes Public
Hyundai and Motional modified the Ioniq 5 all-electric vehicle for commercial use, and for now, a safety driver will stay behind the wheel to make sure that the ride goes smoothly. But the long-term plan is to have fully driverless taxis join the service. One of the best parts of using this service, for now, is that the rides are free. Don’t get used to it though; the company will start charging for rides next year.
Any Lyft rider in Vegas can request a Motional AV. Unlike other robotaxi testing programs, riders don’t have to sign an NDA or sign up for beta testing. It’s completely open to the public. Motional and Lyft want to get real feedback from real customers.
A Unique Ride in Many Ways
Customers who get a ride in an Ioniq 5 modified as a robotaxi will have access to unique features that are unavailable with traditional Lyft vehicles. One feature is the ability to unlock the doors using the Lyft app. This makes sense because riders need to get in without a driver to unlock the doors for them.
Once all the riders are in the car, a new in-car Lyft AV app will be displayed on an in-car touchscreen. Customers can use this to start the ride or contact Lyft customer support if needed.
Ubers Getting in on the Fun Too
Uber recently partnered with Motional to begin offering robotaxi service in Las Vegas along with Lyft. The Hyundai Ioniq 5 robotaxis will be available on UberX and Uber Comfort Electric, and customers will be able to use them during the daytime house along the strip and in other high-traffic and popular Vegas destinations.
The next time you’re in Las Vegas (and soon, Los Angeles) and need a ride, check out the Uber or Lyft robotaxi. You can experience an autonomous version of the Ioniq 5 that you won’t see at a Hyundai dealership, at least until sometime in the future.
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