Motional, Lyft to Expand RoboTaxi Services in 2023
December 16, 2020
Motional, which develops driverless technology, and ride-sharing service Lyft today announced plans to launch a multi-market robotic taxi service in major U.S. cities, beginning in 2023. The next generation of Motional’s fully driverless vehicles will be integrated and deployed on the Lyft network.
The companies said the agreement marks the largest robotaxi deployment partnership for a major ride-sharing network. The agreement comes following a three-year partnership between the two companies, in which Motional and Lyft operate the longest-standing commercial robotaxi service in Las Vegas.
Based on a Hyundai vehicle platform, the Motional robotaxis will be integrated with sensors, computers, and software to enable fully driverless operation, and remote vehicle assistance. Lyft will power the rideshare network and customer experience. The two companies will collaborate and share responsibility for fleet operations. Services will begin rolling out in 2023, with plans for expansion across the Lyft networks. The companies said launch markets will be announced at a later date.
“This agreement is a testament to our global leadership in driverless technology,” said Karl Iagnemma, president and CEO of Motional. “We’re at the frontier of transportation innovation, moving robot axis from research to road. Our aim is to not only build safe, reliable, and accessible driverless vehicles but to deliver them at a significant scale. We’re partnering with Lyft to do exactly that.”
The partnership between the two companies began as a self-driving pilot in Las Vegas. The partners operated a public, revenue-generating fleet for nearly three years, learning how to integrate autonomous cars and ride-sharing networks, as well as operating a commercial robotaxi service. The service has delivered more than 100,000 rides, with 98% of passengers awarding their rides a five-star rating, the companies said.
This agreement follow’s Motional’s recently announced plans to go fully driverless on public roads, as well as marking the next phase in Motional and Lyft’s partnership with the goal of increasing the availability of the robotaxis for the general public. Additional information on the companies is available at the Motional or Lyft websites.