Motional, the self-driving technology joint venture between Hyundai and Aptiv, plans to launch a self-driving taxi service in Las Vegas by the end of 2023, and a new video showcases the city’s unique challenges.
Motional’s robo-taxi, based on the Hyundai Ioniq 5 electric crossover, has been offering rides to the public in Las Vegas since last August, and the vehicles have been available for reservations in limited form through Lyft and, more recently, Uber.
The unique challenges they faced in Sin City included unpredictable pedestrian behavior, unusual vehicle types (such as limousines), and chaotic hotel driveways.
Motional’s robotaxis are equipped with more than 30 sensors, including cameras, radar and lidar. The company also claims that the Ioniq 5’s relatively long range and fast charging capabilities make it ideal for ride-hailing services, as this helps maximize utilization.
Redundancy is built into every major system, including navigation, propulsion, steering and braking. Motional will also offer remote assistance, allowing a remote operator to take control if the vehicle encounters an unusual situation, such as road construction or flooding.
After Las Vegas, Motional’s robotaxi service will expand to Los Angeles and eventually to more U.S. cities. The timing of the extension has not yet been announced.