Motional and Lyft to launch commercial driverless robotaxi service in Las Vegas in 2023 – TechCrunch

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Lyft and Motional, the Aptiv-Hyundai joint venture to bring autonomous driving technology to market, have announced plans to launch their first fully driverless limousine service in Las Vegas in 2023. The news follows several years of collaboration at the both between the two societies and in the City of Sin.

By the second half of next year, Motional and Lyft aim to carry public passengers, who will be able to book rides through the Lyft app, in Motional’s Hyundai IONIQ 5 electric axis robot before moving to a commercial launch. where Lyft is allowed to charge for rides in 2023.

It’s not surprising to see Motional and Lyft pick Las Vegas as the first city in which to launch driverless service, but it’s a major milestone for companies as they work towards their common goal of commercializing the autonomous ride-hailing ride. The two have been in a relationship since 2018, when Lyft and Aptiv launched a week-long program in Las Vegas to test a robotaxi service during CES. In November last year, Nevada allowed Motional to test its autonomous human-security driverless vehicles, and just two months ago, Motional announced it would expand its operations and workforce in Las Vegas and triple the size of its test facility.

In other words, all signs had been pointing to Tuesday’s announcement for some time. From now on, the industry will keep an eye on expansion into more cities. Motional previously targeted 2023 for a commercial launch in major U.S. cities, and this summer announced plans to expand its presence in California with a new operating facility in Los Angeles that would support on-road testing. public.

Motional does not share the exact number of vehicles it will launch with Lyft in Las Vegas at this time, and has said it will share additional details on the area of ​​operational design, which will stipulate the terms under which Motional’s AVs could work safely, closer to launch.

“The beauty of the deal with Lyft is that it has the potential to expand widely – we could reach millions of Lyft riders,” a Motional spokesperson told TechCrunch, also noting that the company would share more. information on launch plans in other cities. “in the future.”

The initial phase of the non-commercial driverless deployment, which begins in 2022, will allow companies to refine their autonomous offering by gathering user feedback and improving the user experience ahead of commercial launch.


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