Motional, the autonomous vehicle company that is a joint venture between Hyundai and Aptiv, revealed more details about its forthcoming robotaxi as well as some of the first images of the vehicle. The company is also working with Lyft and says that by 2023, customers in certain cities will be able to hail rides in this vehicle using the Lyft app.
Motional first announced earlier this year that it would be using the Hyundai Ioniq 5, an all-electric crossover, as its inaugural vehicle. The company hasn’t said how many vehicles it would acquire, nor where it will eventually deploy them for its robotaxi service. It’s currently operating a fleet of BMW 5 series vehicles in Las Vegas in collaboration with Lyft.
The Motional robotaxi will be fitted with “more than 30 sensors,” such as cameras, radar, and lidar, prominently displayed around the exterior to help identify it as a vehicle that drives itself. The sensors provide the vehicle with a 360-degree field of vision, including high-resolution images and the ability to detect objects from a long distance.
The vehicle will come equipped with the hardware and software necessary for Level 4 autonomous driving, meaning the vehicle can operate without a human behind the steering wheel under certain conditions. Motional has previously tested its vehicles without safety drivers on public roads in Las Vegas.
The Ioniq 5 is an interesting choice for Motional’s robotaxi. Hyundai claims it has nearly 300 miles of range on a single charge and a two-way charging feature that can supply up to 3.6kW of power. It will also be built on Hyundai’s new Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) that the automaker says will serve as the basis for an entire family of planned EVs.
Motional says that E-GMP will provide “passengers with a spacious, comfortable place to work, relax, or socialize during their driverless ride.” The company also teased a passenger experience that will include “an interior suite of rider-focused interfaces” that enable customers to add an extra stop on their trip, even when there’s no one in the driver’s seat. Motional claims it will “set a new standard for driverless ride-hailing.”
Lyft was previously working on its own autonomous vehicle technology but recently sold off its entire division to a subsidiary of Toyota for $550 million.