October 6, 2022
Motional, which develops driverless technologies, and Uber Technologies have announced a commercial agreement to offer fully driverless rides using Motional’s all-electric IONIQ 5-based robotaxis. The 10-year, multimarket agreement creates the opportunity for scaling and broad adoption of autonomous vehicles through the partnership.
The companies said they will strategically deploy the service in cities across the U.S., with the first trips expected to start later this year. Motional and Uber said they have a shared vision for AVs to offer an affordable, convenient, and safe transportation option for everyday travel.
“This agreement will be instrumental to the widescale adoption of robotaxis,” said Karl Iagnemma, president and CEO of Motional. “Motional now has unparalleled access to millions of riders and a roadmap to scale significantly over the next 10 years. We’re proud to partner with Uber to bring both driverless ride-hail and deliveries to life in cities throughout the U.S.”
As part of the partnership, Uber said it will share targeted insights to efficiently allocate and position Motional’s vehicles. They said AVs present a unique opportunity to leverage those insights to optimize operations, including reducing vehicle downtime and unnecessary miles traveled, which enables the companies to maximize time spent in revenue-generating service. Smarter operation also translates into a better experience for Uber customers, which leads to reduced wait times and lower fares.
“We’re excited to leverage the power of Uber’s platform to bring Motional’s advanced autonomous technology to a wide range of riders at the push of a button,” said Noah Zych, global head of autonomous mobility and delivery at Uber. “The scope of this partnership shows the important role that shared autonomous vehicles will play in the future of transportation, and in Uber’s strategy to be the global platform to help you go anywhere and get anything.”
The announcement also represented an expansion of the partnership between Motional and Uber, which followed a successful collaboration on delivery services. Earlier this year, Motional began conducting autonomous food deliveries for Uber Eats customers in California. That pilot was well received by customers, and the two companies have since expanded their delivery operations to service more restaurants.
The Motional IONIQ 5 robotaxis are fully electric, zero tailpipe-emissions vehicles that combine electrification and autonomy. The deployment of these vehicles on Uber’s network aim to positively contribute to Uber’s commitment to being a zero-emissions platform by 2030 in the U.S.
The two companies said they will share details on which cities and services will be selected for deployment at a later date. For more information on Motional, visit its website here. To learn more about autonomous mobility and delivery at Uber, visit its website here.