Motional and Lyft Choose Las Vegas for 2023 Robotaxi Launch
【Summary】The joint venture between Aptiv and Hyundai has announced plans to launch its first autonomous robotaxi service in Las Vegas in 2023.
After several years of collaborating with one another and mapping out the city of Las Vegas, Nevada, Motional is ready to come out with an autonomous robotaxi service in 2023. The $4 billion joint venture between Hyundai and Aptiv first started testing its autonomous technology in Las Vegas roughly four years ago with some help from Lyft. With the recent news, it looks like all of the hard work has paid off.
Robotaxis Coming In 2023
The autonomous vehicles will be provided by Motional and automotive supplier Aptiv. The cars will be based on a platform from Hyundai. Consumers will be able to hail an autonomous robtaxi using Lyft's ride-sharing network. While the service will go into full swing in 2023, Motional and Lyft want to begin giving Lyft users ride in an autonomous vehicle as early as the second half of 2022. At the beginning, the service will utilize the Hyundai Ioniq 5 electric hatchback that has been upgraded with autonomous technology. Lyft won't be charging consumers for rides in the beginning, though.
At the moment, Motional's test fleet includes a large amount of BMW 5-Series sedans. These will be swapped out in favor of the electric Ioniq 5s starting next year. Motional will continue to complete testing on the vehicles and collect the necessary data before launching its full service in 2023.
The decision to launch a fully autonomous robotaxi service in 2023 doesn't come out of thin air for Motional. The company started testing vehicles without a human safety driver behind the wheel earlier this February. Aptiv and Hyundai, though, having been testing vehicles as early as 2018 when it launched a one-week program in Las Vegas to test an autonomous taxi service during CES.
It's Been A Long Time Coming
Last November, Nevada gave Motional the go-ahead to test autonomous vehicles without a safety driver behind the wheel. Two months ago, Motional announced that it was expanding its operations and number of employees in Las Vegas. Additionally, it decided to trip the size of its testing facility.
At the moment, Motional isn't ready to share the number of robotaxis it will launch in Las Vegas in 2023. The company plans to share information on specifics at a later date. We also expect to get more information on other cities down the road. Motional recently announced plans to expand its presence in California with a new Los Angeles facility. The company also announced that it was looking to launch commercially in major cities in the U.S. in 2023.
Motional isn't alone in planning to introduce an autonomous robotaxi service. Quite a few other companies are looking to do the same thing. General Motors' subsidiary Cruise launched a similar taxi service in San Francisco, though this is reserved for employees and a few members of the public. Uber was testing autonomous taxis around the country, but that part of the business was sold to Aurora last December. Waymo's driverless taxi service went online to the public in Phoenix, Arizona last October.
Vineeth Joel Patel
Joel Patel has been covering all aspects of the automotive industry for four years as an editor and freelance writer for various websites. When it comes to cars, he enjoys covering the merger between technology and cars. In his spare time, Joel likes to watch baseball, work on his car, and try new foods
Ralph Nader Calls for NHTSA to Remove Tesla Full Self-Driving
California DMV Accuses Tesla of Making False Claims About its Driver-Assist Systems
Automakers Urge Consumers to Buy an EV Before Tax Credit Changes
Toyota Offering Multiple Solutions for Non-Drivable bZ4X Electric SUVs
GM's Rebate of up to $6,000 on the Bolt EV and EUV Has a Big Stipulation
BMW Expands i4 Lineup With the Affordable eDrive35
Faraday Future Delays Launch of FF91 Electric SUV Again
New Senate Deal Would Expand EV Tax Credits
- General Motors and Red Hat to Collaborate on the Future of Software-Defined Vehicles
- Tesla’s Battery Supplier Panasonic is Close to Selecting the Site of its New U.S. Battery Plant
- The Electric Mercedes-Benz G-Class SUV Will Use a Silicon-based Battery Developed by Sila Nanotechnologies
- Volkswagen CEO Believes It Will Overtake Tesla in EV Sales by 2025
- Tesla Rival NIO Inc is Hiring Manufacturing Specialists for a U.S. EV Factory, Reports Say
- Tesla Beats Revenue and Profit Estimates for Q1 With Deliveries of 310,048 Electric Vehicles
- Polestar Announces Strategic Partnership With StoreDot, a Company Developing Rapid Charging Technology for EV Batteries
- 2023 Subaru Solterra Priced Higher Than Toyota bZ4X
- Volvo is Building a New EV Service and Training Facility at its U.S. Headquarters in New Jersey To Fast Track its Electrification Plans
- Audi Hits EV Startup NIO With a Trademark Lawsuit Over its Vehicle Naming