Motional, a joint venture between Hyundai Motor Group and Aptiv has started the ride service of the free ‘Robotaxi’ Ioniq 5 in Las Vegas. The Lyft app is providing the ride-ordering facility for this self-driving cab. San Francisco-based Lyft has not sported any fully electric autonomous vehicle (AV) on its platform before. The president and CEO of Motional commented on their partnership with Lyft, “Motional and Lyft have a clear path to widespread commercialization of Level 4 autonomous vehicles.”
With the lidar and radar sensors-fitted Ioniq 5 debuting for passengers, it must be noted that, unlike other AVs, this car is not retro-fitted with its driverless tech. On the contrary, its design from the very beginning has been that of a driverless vehicle. The sensor suite on its exterior makes it stand apart from the human-driven Ioniq 5s.
“The 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,” said Logan Green, the CEO and co-founder of Lyft.
While the process of ordering the cab is conventional with a car-tracking facility available for passengers, there are many new features included. For instance, commencing the journey by pressing a button in the car, swiping on the app to unlock the doors and a button to contact customer support.
It is noteworthy that the cab-testing by the Boston-based Motional and Lyft was under-process since 2018. And now that it has commenced in LA, the services will be launched in other cities soon. The fully driverless service will be launched in the upcoming year.