Another player appears poised to jump into the tiny but growing driverless taxi segment in the U.S.
Korean auto giant Hyundai and auto supplier Aptiv — formerly Delphi — announced a joint venture this spring to catch up to other automakers’ autonomous capabilities. Now named Motional, that joint venture this week announced a partnership with Via to bring a shared robotaxi service to one of Motional’s existing U.S. markets in the first half of 2021.
Company officials said the combination of Motional’s self-driving technology with Via’s transit booking, routing, and management solutions would establish a blueprint for the on-demand robotaxi fleets of the future.
The announcement noted that the data from the project would help integrate driverless vehicles into mass transit networks and optimize pooled rides for the broader transportation ecosystem. The project’s rider app, for example, will include information about local transit networks.
Motional is based in Boston but also operates in Pittsburgh, Las Vegas, and Santa Monica, California. The companies said they are currently working to ensure that their robotaxi passengers are kept safe during the ongoing pandemic through the deployment of protective equipment, partitions, frequent sanitizing, and contact tracing.
Image Credit: Thomas Industry Update