Uber and Motional have partnered to launch a new robotaxi service in Las Vegas featuring a fleet of all-electric Hyundai IONIQ 5 SUVs. The robotaxi service grows Motional’s autonomous services in Las Vegas as the company already offers similar services with Lyft.
According to Motional, Uber customers will be able to hail the autonomous IONIQ 5 SUVs under the UberX and Uber Comfort Electric options. The service will initially launch with a safety driver behind the wheel, but the company hopes to be able to go driverless in 2023.
“Today, Motional becomes the first AV company to conduct all-electric autonomous rides on the Uber network for public passengers,” said Akshay Jaising, Motional’s Vice President of Commercialization. “It’s a testament to our technology and the power of our partnership with Uber that we’re able to go from concept to consumer in such a short time. Las Vegas is the first of many cities in which Motional’s AVs will become an everyday transportation option for Uber customers looking for a safe and convenient ride.”
While the service is being tested rides in the autonomous IONIQ 5 SUVs will be free. Uber customers will be notified through the mobile app if they are paired with one of the Motional vehicles, and riders will be given the opportunity to opt out if they are not comfortable taking one.
This service is the first after a recently announced 10-year partnership between Motional and Uber which will see autonomous vehicles deployed for ride-hail and deliveries on the Uber network in major cities across the US.
Following the launch in Las Vegas, the next city to get the service will be Los Angeles, although a specific date was not provided. The two companies have already successfully launched autonomous deliveries in LA through Uber Eats back in May.