Motional and Hyundai debut Ioniq 5 robotaxi prototype

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Motional, a developer of autonomous driving technology, and Hyundai have released details of the Hyundai Ioniq 5-based robotaxi, an SAE Level 4 autonomous vehicle. Set to be Motional’s first commercial offering, the Ioniq 5 is due to begin passenger operations in 2023 following an extensive test and development program, via a partnership between Motional and ridesharing operator Lyft.

The companies note that the vehicle’s sensor suite is prominently displayed across the exterior, easily distinguishing the robotaxi from human-piloted vehicles. The hardware stack features more than 30 sensors – a combination of cameras, radars and lidar – that provide what is claimed to be robust 360° perception, high-resolution images and ultra-long-range detection of objects for safe autonomous operation in diverse driving environments.

The robotaxi will be outfitted with Motional’s driverless technology, which includes advanced machine learning systems. The two companies say they worked hand in hand throughout the development, with each providing critical expertise: Motional in driverless technology and Hyundai its research and development capabilities and global vehicle manufacturing resources.

The result is said to be a seamless integration between the vehicle’s autonomous brain and body. “This robotaxi represents Motional’s vision of a driverless future becoming a reality,” said Motional president and CEO Karl Iagnemma. “Through our strategic partnership with Hyundai Motor Group and Aptiv, we have unparalleled automotive and software expertise across our entire vehicle development process. This deep collaboration enables us to manufacture a robotaxi that’s both highly safe and reliable, and cost-optimized for global production. We’re focused on mass commercialization, and the Ioniq 5 robotaxi is built for that purpose.”

Woongjun Jang, head of the Autonomous Driving Center at Hyundai Motor Group, added, “For the Ioniq 5-based robotaxi, we have applied various redundancy systems in addition to a suite of essential technologies to ensure safety and convenience of the passengers. By successfully integrating the group’s Ioniq 5 robotaxi with Motional’s autonomous driving technology, we are proud to announce that we have achieved another important milestone on the road to the commercialization of our robotaxi.”

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he oversees Automotive Powertrain Technology International and Professional Motorsport World magazines as editor.

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