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Hyundai Motor JV to launch robotaxi services in US by 2023

By Dec 17, 2020 (Gmt+09:00)

Motional's autonomous driving vehicle
Motional's autonomous driving vehicle

Hyundai Motor Group's autonomous driving joint venture Motional and US-based ride-hailing company Lyft have joined forces to offer robotaxi services, or self-driving taxis, across major US cities in 2023.

Motional announced on Dec. 17 that the unmanned robotaxis will be developed on Hyundai Motor Co.'s platform, and deployed via Lyft's extensive network.

Hyundai Motor and Motional will manufacture and supply vehicles that will be equipped with sensors, computers and software to offer driverless operation and remote vehicle assistance. Lyft will provide its rideshare network and customer services.

Motional and Lyft began working together in 2018 on a robotaxi fleet pilot service in Las Vegas. They have already delivered over 100,000 rides with 98% of the passengers awarding the rides a five-star rating. Motional plans to expand the services to other major cities in the US. 

Motional is a JV between US-based mobility solutions provider Aptiv and Hyundai Motor. The two companies entered the partnership in 2019, with each party investing $2 billion for a 50% stake in the tie-up. The JV was officially established in March of this year and unveiled its name in August.

Motional's technology offers Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Level 4 vehicles, autonomous vehicles that can perform all driving tasks. Last month, the company was approved to test run its fleet of Level 4 vehicles in Nevada.

By 2022, the company aims to commercialize Level 3 vehicles that can drive without the driver holding the steering wheel, but requiring driver override.

"We’re at the frontier of transportation innovation, moving robotaxis from research to road," said Karl Iagnemma, the president and chief executive at Motional. “Our aim is to not only build safe, reliable, and accessible driverless vehicles, but to deliver them at significant scale."

Write to Sun A Lee at

Danbee Lee edited this article.
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