Motional selects Hyundai Ioniq 5 for robotaxi platform


*Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly indicated that Lyft was involved in the selection process for the Ioniq 5. That choice was made by Motional.

Motional, Lyft Inc. and Hyundai are teaming up on a robotaxi that will arrive in some U.S. cities in just two years.

Driverless-vehicle company Motional has selected the Hyundai Ioniq 5 as the vehicle platform for a robotaxi service to be launched with the ride-hailing giant in 2023.

Motional said the service would operate in multiple U.S. cities but declined to specify which ones.

The companies announced in December that they would be partnering on deploying fully driverless vehicles through Lyft’s platform in select markets.

The Ioniq 5 will be equipped with Level 4 autonomous driving capabilities, Motional and Lyft said Tuesday in a statement.

SAE International has defined six levels of automation — ranging from 0, meaning no automated controls, to 5, for full autonomy.

Motional is the year-old, $4 billion autonomous-driving joint venture of supplier Aptiv and Hyundai. The Korean automaker premiered its Ioniq 5 full-electric midsize crossover in February.

“Motional’s autonomy experts are adding technology that will allow the robotaxi to see and respond faster and more safely than a human,” the statement said. “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.”

The Ioniq 5 “will be subjected to the rigorous safety processes Motional is known for,” the companies said.

The Ioniq 5 is Motional’s fifth platform and second to go driverless on public roads. Motional said in February that it has been operating driverless in Las Vegas. For that project, the company says it is using Chrysler Pacifica minivans.

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