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Moving Robotaxis from Research to Road

December 16, 2020 Karl Iagnemma, President and CEO Lyft

Today marks a significant first for our business and industry. Not only will Motional be among the first to put fully driverless vehicles on the road, but we’re now paving their paths to market. Our next-generation, fully driverless systems will be deployed on the Lyft network, enabling Motional’s vehicles to reach Lyft’s rider community in multiple markets.

Our agreement with Lyft represents the largest deployment partnership of its kind, born from decades of innovation and ingenuity, a relentless commitment to safety, and strong strategic partnerships. It underscores our commitment to move robotaxis from research to road.

This is a fitting close to a year of progress for Motional. We started 2020 by announcing that we’d provided more than 100,000 self-driving rides with Lyft in Las Vegas. Since then, we’ve become a $4B joint venture, reintroduced ourselves to the world as Motional, continued to lead the industry in safety and transparency with our groundbreaking nuScenes dataset, expanded our partnership network to include Via, and earned our driverless license.  Along the way, we’ve discovered that awareness breeds enthusiasm for driverless vehicles, and that consumers are more interested in our technology than ever before. We’ve also embarked on a journey to understand transportation inequity and determine how Motional can improve mobility for underserved and low-income communities.

Our agreement with Lyft is one of the most meaningful steps our industry has taken towards a driverless future. It’s also the product of unparalleled experience. With Lyft, we’ve spent nearly three years operating what is now the world’s longest-standing public robotaxi service. We’ve successfully integrated self-driving vehicles onto a ridesharing network, operated a commercial robotaxi service at scale, built consumer trust in the technology, and safely provided over 100,000 rides. These learnings have provided ample validation for this next, larger phase of our partnership with Lyft, and we look forward to significantly increasing the availability of robotaxis to the general public.

Commercializing driverless technology will bring enormous benefits to society. We’ll spend more time chatting with our families and less time muttering angrily at traffic. We’ll have fewer parking lots and more parks. We’ll reduce emissions. And most importantly, we’ll remove human error from many driving scenarios — a step that has the power to save millions of lives.

Today marks a new chapter for Motional, and for our industry. We’re proud to be at the forefront of making driverless technology a safe, reliable, accessible — and ubiquitous — reality.

We look forward to welcoming you along for the ride.