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Motional and Lyft agree ‘world’s largest’ robotaxi partnership

Motional and Lyft have signed what they describe as “the world’s largest robotaxi deployment partnership” in a deal that has the potential to make driverless vehicles a reality for millions of Americans.

Starting in 2023, consumers in select markets will be able to book a Motional robotaxi through the Lyft app. For many, this will be their first experience with driverless technology.

In a statement, Motional said: “Today, we unveil a key part of that experience. We’re excited to announce that the celebrated Hyundai Ioniq 5 will be the vehicle platform for Motional’s next-generation robotaxi.”

Recently unveiled to critical acclaim, the futuristic Ioniq 5 is an all-electric, midsize crossover utility vehicle designed for the passenger experience.

Built on Hyundai’s dedicated battery electric vehicle (BEV) platform, the Ioniq 5 delivers innovation in both mobility and sustainability.

This isn’t the Ioniq 5 consumer model: Motional’s Ioniq 5 will be equipped with Level 4 autonomous driving capabilities.

It’s the first robotaxi under the Motional name — and is the product of deep collaboration between Hyundai’s world-class manufacturing and design teams, and Motional’s autonomy, robotics, and software teams.

The platform is the convergence of mobility’s two most transformative technologies – electrification and autonomy — and signals the future of transportation.

The Ioniq 5s are being fully integrated with Motional’s driverless system. This integration is critical for the transformation of the Ioniq 5 into a robotaxi and is achieved through close collaboration between Hyundai and Motional. As a result of this collaboration, the robotaxi will be both automotive production grade and internationally scalable.

Motional’s autonomy experts are adding technology that will allow the robotaxi to see and respond faster and more safely than a human.

LiDAR, radar, and cameras sense a full 360 degrees around the robotaxi, seeing up to 300 meters away, and enable Motional’s driverless system to see, understand, and react to dynamic driving environments.

Motional’s IONIQ 5 robotaxis will then be put through many months of rigorous testing, racking up real world experience and navigating challenging and unpredictable road scenarios.

This is conducted across simulation, closed courses, and public roads. The testing is only completed once the companies are confident its robotaxis are safer than a human driver, in accordance with Motional’s Voluntary Safety Self Assessment (VSSA).

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