Driverless technology company, Motional, and ride-sharing specialist, Lyft, are launching a robotaxi service in major US cities, beginning in 2023. Motional’s next-generation, fully driverless vehicles will be integrated, operationalised, and deployed on the Lyft network.
It follows an ongoing three-year partnership in which Motional and Lyft operate the world’s longest-standing commercial robotaxi service in Las Vegas.
The partners are joining forces to create “a clear, scalable path to market for robotaxis”.
Motional will deliver next-generation robotaxis, based on a Hyundai vehicle platform, integrated with sensors, computers, and software to enable fully driverless operation and remote vehicle assistance.
Lyft will power the ride-share network and customer experience. The two companies will collaborate closely to ensure seamless integration of the new vehicles onto the Lyft platform, and share responsibility for fleet operations.
The services will begin rolling out in 2023, with foundations laid for further expansion across the Lyft network. Launch markets will be announced at a later date.
“Our aim is to not only build safe, reliable, and accessible driverless vehicles, but to deliver them at significant scale,” said Karl Iagnemma, president and CEO, Motional. “We’re partnering with Lyft to do exactly that.”
Motional and Lyft’s partnership began as a self-driving pilot in Las Vegas, one of the world’s first. The partners have operated a public, revenue-generating robotaxi fleet for nearly three years, gaining experience in integrating autonomous cars and ride-sharing networks, operating a commercial robotaxi service at scale, and building consumer trust in self-driving cars.
The service has now delivered well over 100,000 rides, with 98 per cent of passengers reportedly awarding their rides a five-star rating.
“We’re thrilled to have reached this milestone laying the groundwork for Motional’s driverless vehicles deploying on the Lyft network,” added Raj Kapoor, Lyft CSO and head of business, self-driving. “This first-of-its-kind agreement is a testament to our collaborative approach for scaling self-driving vehicles in cities.”