Motional’, an autonomous vehicle venture and Via, which provides ride-hailing services, announced Wednesday that they will launch a robo-taxi service in Las Vegas starting Thursday, the latest step by Motional toward commercializing its autonomous vehicle platform.
As part of its free ride program, Via will use equipped vehicles with Motional’s autonomous driving system to transport passengers between several locations in downtown Las Vegas. Aptiv PLC and Hyundai Motor Co have formed a joint venture known as Motional.
In a separate initiative, the CEO of Motional company, said the company plans on launching fully autonomous rides using Hyundai electric vehicles on Lyft Inc’s network in Las Vegas late next year.
The company Motional is among several autonomous driving technology companies in the United States, developing driverless vehicles with the aim of offering revenue-generating services in the next one to two years.
As Iagnemma put it, “Everything in this business has accelerate, the question now is, how quickly can you scale?”
Using sensors and software developed by Motional, Motional co-parent will assemble the Hyundai Ioniq 5 electric vehicle that will be used for driverless vehicles, including people carriers and autonomous food delivery vehicles. In the same way as conventional Ioniqs, Motional Ioniqs will be assembled on the same production line.
A Motional autonomous Ioniq 5 vehicle will deliver goods to Uber Eats customers in Santa Monica as part of a recent agreement with Uber Technologies. Initially, operators will be on board, Iagnemma explained, however the goal is to eventually get rid of human drivers.