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Motional and Uber partner to offer robotaxi rides

Motional and Uber Technologies have reached a commercial agreement to offer fully driverless rides using Motional’s new all-electric IONIQ 5-based robotaxis.

The 10-year, multimarket agreement creates the opportunity for effective scaling and broad adoption of autonomous vehicles by pairing Motional’s advanced driverless technology with Uber’s network of millions of customers.

The companies will strategically deploy the service in cities across the US, with the first trips expected to start later this year. Motional and Uber have a shared vision for autonomous vehicles to offer an affordable, convenient, and safe transportation option for everyday travel.

Karl Iagnemma, president and CEO of Motional, says: “This agreement will be instrumental to the wide scale adoption of robotaxis.

“Motional now has unparalleled access to millions of riders and a roadmap to scale significantly over the next ten years. We’re proud to partner with Uber to bring both driverless ride-hail and deliveries to life in cities throughout the US.“

As part of the commercial partnership, Uber will share targeted insights to efficiently allocate and position Motional’s vehicles.

Autonomous vehicles present a unique opportunity to leverage those insights to optimize operations, including reducing vehicle downtime and unnecessary miles traveled, which enables the companies to maximize time spent in revenue-generating service.

Smarter operation also translates into a better experience for Uber customers, ultimately leading to reduced wait times and lower fares.

Noah Zych, global head of autonomous mobility and delivery at Uber, says: “We’re excited to leverage the power of Uber’s platform to bring Motional’s advanced autonomous technology to a wide range of riders at the push of a button.

“The scope of this partnership shows the important role that shared autonomous vehicles will play in the future of transportation, and in Uber’s strategy to be the global platform to help you go anywhere and get anything.”

Today’s announcement represents an expansion of the Motional and Uber partnership, following a successful collaboration on delivery. Earlier this year, Motional began conducting autonomous food deliveries for Uber Eats customers in California.

The pilot has been well received by customers and Motional and Uber have since expanded their delivery operations to service more restaurants.

Motional is now positioned to become the first autonomous vehicle company to offer both delivery and ride-hail services within a major network like Uber.

Along with the multimarket driverless ride-hail service, the new agreement also enables further expansion of Motional’s autonomous vehicles for delivery with Uber Eats. Together, Motional and Uber are building a future where autonomous vehicles are safely and thoughtfully integrated into communities.

Motional’s IONIQ 5 robotaxis are fully electric, zero tailpipe-emissions vehicles, combining the transformative power of electrification and autonomy. The deployment of these vehicles on the Uber network will positively contribute to Uber’s commitment to being a zero-emissions platform by 2030 in the US.

Zych says: “Partnering with Motional to efficiently utilize their fleet of all-electric IONIQ 5 robotaxis will bring us one step closer to achieving our goal of becoming a zero-emissions platform.”

The companies say they will share details on the cities and services “in the future”.

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