Robot taxis going to hit the road in 2023

Motional and Hyundai reveal the first images of their forthcoming autonomous vehicle


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Motional, the autonomous vehicle business founded by Hyundai and Aptiv, has released more information about its upcoming robotaxi, as well as some of the first photographs of the car. Customers in some places will be able to hail rides in this car using the Lyft app by 2023, according to the company's partnership with Lyft.

Motional first stated that the Hyundai Ioniq 5, an all-electric crossover, will be its debut vehicle earlier this year. The business hasn't said how many vehicles it plans to buy or where it plans to use them for its robotaxi service. It is already collaborating with Lyft to run a fleet of Chrysler Pacifica minivans in Las Vegas.

The Motional robotaxi will have "more than 30 sensors" conspicuously displayed around the outside to help identify it as a self-driving vehicle. These include cameras, radar, and lidar. The sensors provide the car a 360-degree field of vision, with high-resolution photos and the capacity to detect objects from afar.

The vehicle will be built with the software and technology required for Level 4 autonomous driving, which means it will be capable of driving without a human behind the wheel in certain circumstances. Motional already has tested its vehicles on the roads in Las Vegas without the use of safety drivers.

For Motional's robotaxi, the Ioniq 5 is an intriguing option. It boasts a range of approximately 300 miles on a single charge, according to Hyundai, and a two-way charging mechanism that can deliver up to 3.6kW of power. It will also be based on Hyundai's new Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), which will serve as the foundation for an entire family of future EVs, according to the carmaker.

“Passengers will have a roomy, pleasant location to work, relax, or mingle during their driverless ride,” according to Motional. The business also hinted at a passenger experience that will include "an internal suite of rider-focused interfaces" that will allow consumers to add an extra stop to their journey even if no one is in the driver's seat. Motional claims to be “setting a new benchmark for self-driving ride-hailing.”


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