Following the recent unveiling of Hyundai’s Ioniq 5, we are now learning that the new electric SUV will be used as a self-driving robotaxi in Lyft’s ride-hailing fleet.
Hyundai’s company responsible for the development of autonomous driving technology, Motional, made the announcement that the Ioniq 5 will be transformed into a robotaxi: “This isn’t the IONIQ 5 consumer model: Motional’s IONIQ 5 will be equipped with Level 4 autonomous driving capabilities. It’s the first robotaxi under the Motional name — and is the product of deep collaboration between Hyundai’s world-class manufacturing and design teams, and Motional’s autonomy, robotics, and software teams. The platform is the convergence of mobility’s two most transformative technologies — electrification and autonomy — and signals the future of transportation.”
Motional has been revolutionizing driverless technology for decades and this will be the companies fifth platform to develop autonomous vehicles.
Motional also laid out the steps it is taken in order for the Ioniq 5 to become truly driverless:
-The IONIQ 5s are being fully integrated with Motional’s driverless system. This integration is critical for the transformation of the IONIQ 5 into a robotaxi and is achieved through close collaboration between Hyundai and Motional. As a result of this collaboration, the robotaxi will be both automotive production grade and internationally scalable.
-Motional’s autonomy experts are adding technology that will allow the robotaxi to see and respond faster and more safely than a human. LiDAR, radar, and cameras sense a full 360 degrees around the robotaxi, seeing up to 300 meters away, and enable Motional’s driverless system to see, understand, and react to dynamic driving environments.
-Motional’s IONIQ 5 robotaxis will then be put through many months of rigorous testing, racking up real world experience and navigating challenging and unpredictable road scenarios. This is conducted across simulation, closed courses, and public roads. The testing is only completed once we’re confident our robotaxis are safer than a human driver.
All companies involved are shooting to add autonomous Ioniq 5 vehicles to Lyft’s ride-hailing app by 2023.