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Motional Expands into Autonomous Delivery

December 16, 2021 Karl Iagnemma, President and CEO Uber Eats

For years, Motional has led the industry in developing and deploying global fleets of safe, reliable, and accessible autonomous vehicles (AVs). Just last month we announced that starting in 2023, our first fully driverless commercial passenger robotaxi service will launch in Las Vegas, with other cities to follow.

While this is a testament to the progress we’ve made, we’re not stopping there. Today, we announced that Motional will deploy our all-electric IONIQ 5-based robotaxis to fulfill on-demand food orders with Uber Eats, marking our first entry into autonomous delivery.

The Robotaxi and Delivery Market Opportunity

Motional’s focus remains on developing the world’s safest and most advanced AVs. While robotaxis are the largest market opportunity in driverless technology, the autonomous delivery market has grown rapidly over the last couple of years. Expanding into this adjacent market strengthens our go-to-market strategy.

The combined U.S. market for driverless robotaxi and food delivery service is expected to exceed $115 billion by 2030. Demand for food delivery has doubled since the start of the pandemic, and the use of mobile food delivery apps is up more than 20% this year.

In addition, increasing the versatility of our robotaxi platform allows us to operate our vehicles more efficiently, maximizing the amount of time they are on the road in revenue-generating service. Ride-hailing services experience peaks and valleys in demand, and rather than having a robotaxi idle while waiting for the next fare, they can make deliveries. As an additional benefit, the more our vehicles are operating on the road, the more data they can collect, which enables us to capture more edge cases and more quickly train our system.

While we continue to explore new use cases for our technology, on-demand delivery presents the greatest market opportunity while being most closely aligned with Motional’s existing robotaxi technology. This enables us to bring value to our customers faster.

The Road Ahead

Along with today’s milestone, we recently announced significant investments in our U.S. operations, including expanding our East Coast (Boston) and West Coast (California and Las Vegas) operations. Not only will these investments help support our initial market launches, but they will also enable us to scale up our operations to meet growing demand.

While we’re launching our commercial robotaxi operations in Las Vegas, we’ve laid the groundwork to scale globally. We’ll be operating in a double-digit number of cities by the mid-2020s. This growth will result in many high-tech sector jobs, ranging from software and mechanical engineers and fleet maintenance technicians, to remote customer service and data analytics roles, across the supply chain.

2022 will be an exciting year for Motional. Our team has spent decades preparing for this moment, developing validating driverless technology to ensure our vehicles make roads safer than they are now. Driverless technology is the future of mobility services, and today’s announcement is another proof point that Motional is prepared to lead the way.