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Introducing Motional’s Next-Generation Robotaxi: The Hyundai IONIQ 5

March 31, 2021

In late 2020, we shared game-changing news: Motional and Lyft inked the world’s largest robotaxi deployment partnership — a deal that has the potential to make driverless vehicles a reality for millions of Americans. Consumers in select markets will be able to book a Motional robotaxi through the Lyft app. For many, this will be their first experience with driverless technology. 

Today, we unveil a key part of that experience. We’re excited to announce that the celebrated Hyundai IONIQ 5 will be the vehicle platform for Motional’s next-generation robotaxi.

The All-Electric IONIQ 5 + Motional

Recently unveiled to critical acclaim, the futuristic IONIQ 5 is an all-electric, midsize crossover utility vehicle designed for the passenger experience. With a unique and luxurious living space and a sleek, modern exterior, Motional and Lyft riders will experience their fully autonomous rides in comfort and style. Built on Hyundai’s dedicated battery electric vehicle (BEV) platform, the IONIQ 5 delivers innovation in both mobility and sustainability. 

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.

Earning Its Driverless License

Motional’s first IONIQ 5 vehicles are already training for their fully-driverless future:

  • 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.

From Motional’s Voluntary Safety Self Assessment (VSSA), which outlines how we engineer safety into everything we do, to our first-of-its-kind endorsement from TÜV SÜD, a world-leading independent technical service provider, to our constant testing and simulation, we’ve been clear: we’re not taking the shortest or fastest route to driverless. We’re taking the safe route.

The IONIQ 5 will be subjected to the rigorous safety processes Motional is known for. A safer, better future of transportation demands it.

Engineering the Road Ahead

The IONIQ 5 will mark Motional’s fifth platform, and our second to go driverless on public roads. We’ve evolved and advanced with each of these platforms. Our IONIQ 5 benefits from the wisdom gained over decades of innovation, 1.5 million miles in diverse road environments, and hundreds of thousands of hours of testing and assessment.

Motional’s IONIQ 5 robotaxi is born out of strategic partnerships with one of the world’s most experienced automotive manufacturers, Hyundai, and an organization at the forefront of automotive innovation, Aptiv. It will be our most capable platform yet.

More importantly, it will be the one that moves you. In a few short years, this robotaxi will transport real people to real places.

We look forward to sharing more on this platform’s technology and passenger experience in the coming months.