Motional has shown the first images of its planned robotaxi. The Hyundai all-electric Ioniq 5 SUV will be the main piece of a driverless ride-hailing service. The company wants customers to be able to use it starting in 2023 through the Lyft app.
Motional Autonomous Vehicle Technology
The purpose-built vehicle, which will be assembled by Hyundai, is integrated with Motional’s autonomous vehicle technology. This includes a suite of more than 30 sensors including lidar, radar, and cameras. It can be seen throughout the interior and exterior. That sensing system provides 360 degrees of vision. Plus the ability to see up to 300 meters away, according to Motional.
The company, which was born out of a $4 billion joint venture with Aptiv and Hyundai, intentionally showcases the numerous sensors. President and CEO Karl Iagnemma said in a recent interview.
“We see so many competitors bending over backward to try to hide this sensor suite. Then conceal it in these big plastic casings,” Iagnemma said. “But, the fact is, you can’t hide the sensors. They need to be where they need to be. It’s a significant part of the car and a key part of the technology. So our strategy was to celebrate the sensors. Also to adapt the design language of the vehicle, and carry that through the design of the integrated sensor suite.
First Driveless Robotaxi Service
Motional has not, in fact, announced where it will launch its first driverless robotaxi service. Moreover, it will likely be in one of the cities it presently is testing and validating its technology. That list will include Boston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Pittsburgh.
Revealed in February, the base of Motional’s robotaxi is the Hyundai Ioniq 5. The electric vehicle was expecting later this year. Moreover, the consumer version will not be equipping with Motional’s autonomous vehicle technology. Motional didn’t choose a shuttle design or even a larger van for its first robotaxi unlike some AV developers,