Robo-Taxis Are Coming to Vegas Next Year
If you have visited Las Vegas, you already know about the traffic in the city and especially on the Strip. Tesla has already build a tunnel at the Las Vegas Conventions Center to help solve that problem, and plans to extend the underground network to 18 miles and 51 stations. Slated to open in 2023, the tunnels will connect resorts to Allegiant Stadium and Harry Reid International Airport.
But now there’s also another plan in the works, this one above ground. While it might not help as much with the traffic, it should improve the city’s air quality.
Motional, a global leader in driverless technology, and Lyft have announced plans to launch a fully driverless public ride-hail service in Las Vegas, the first city in a multimarket deployment.
Motional’s next-generation robotaxis, the all-electric Hyundai IONIQ 5-based robotaxi, will be available on the Lyft app in Las Vegas, starting in 2023. The deployment is part of a landmark partnership between Motional and Lyft, which was first announced last year.
The service will be the first time fully driverless cars for use in a ride-hailing service are available to the public in Nevada. Launched by Aptiv in 2018 and now as Motional, the company has operated a public self-driving service with Lyft in Las Vegas for over three years, but with backup drivers to ensure safety.
Motional and Lyft are collaborating closely in the lead-up to the 2023 commercial launch, iterating on all aspects of the deployment and rider experience (UX). This includes transporting passengers via Motional’s next-generation robotaxi, the IONIQ 5 robotaxi starting in the second half of 2022. During this initial phase, riders will experience their end-to-end journey autonomously, including entering the vehicle, starting their ride, and requesting support. This will allow Motional and Lyft to gain rider feedback, refine the UX to be as intuitive as possible, and more.
The IONIQ 5 robotaxi was developed through strategic collaboration between Motional and Hyundai, is built to safely operate without a driver, and comes with enhanced safety and reliability features.