Following the deal between Uber and Motional, a joint venture between Hyundai and Aptiv, autonomous taxis will be available for ride requests.
Initially, safety drivers will be behind the steering wheel, though the vehicles will be operated by Motional’s autonomous driving system. In 2023, Motional then plans to introduce a public fully driverless service without safety drivers.
Customers will be able to book autonomous vehicles for the first time through Uber’s app. Earlier this year, the ride hailing company secured a 10-year agreement with Motional to deploy the robotaxis on its ride-hailing and delivery services.
Customers in Las Vegas will be the first to benefit from the service. Motional has announced that its next market will be Los Angeles.
Motional’s Autonomous Vehicles will be accessible for reservation on the Uber app under Uber X or Uber Comfort Electric – a service that solely offers electric vehicles.
In Santa Monica, the two companies are conducting a delivery test.
Coincidentally, Motional also operates an autonomous taxi service in Las Vegas with Uber’s main competitor Lyft. On the other hand, Uber has a 10-year deal with Nuro to use the company’s driverless delivery pods in California and Texas.
Uber used to have its own driverless cab service, but it was shut down and sold after a deadly accident in 2017.