Motional, the self-driving technology joint venture between Hyundai and Aptiv, plans to launch a robotaxi service in Las Vegas in late 2023, and a new video shows the unique challenges the city presents.
Motional’s robotaxis, based on the Hyundai Ioniq 5 electric car, have been able to offer rides to the public in Las Vegas since last August, and the vehicles have been available for booking via Lyft and more recently Uber in limited form.
Unique challenges they face in Sin City include unpredictable pedestrian behavior, unusual vehicle types (like limousines), and chaotic hotel driveways.
Motional’s robotaxis are fitted with more than 30 sensors, encompassing cameras, radar, and lidar. The company also claims the Ioniq 5’s relatively long range and fast-charging capabilities make it a good fit for ride-hailing services, as that helps maximize utilization.
Redundancies are built into every major system of the robotaxis, including navigation, propulsion, steering, and braking. Motional will also provide remote assistance, allowing a remote operator to take control if a vehicle encounters an unusual situation, such as road construction or flooding.
After Las Vegas, Motional’s robotaxi service will be expanded to Los Angeles, and eventually more U.S. cities. Timing for the expansion hasn’t been announced.
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