If you’re one of those people who gets in an Uber or Lyft hungover, pulls your hood over your eyes, and hopes the driver won’t talk to you, this autonomous Lyft might be for you. Lyft is partnering with Motional, an autonomous vehicle company, to introduce an electric robotaxi in Las Vegas. It’s essentially a self-driving ride-hail vehicle that’ll take you where you need to go without the cumbersome human interaction. The all-electric IONIQ 5 AV car is the first debut of Motional and Lyft’s fully driverless service in 2023.
“Motional and Lyft have a clear path to widespread commercialization of Level 4 autonomous vehicles,” Karl Iagnemma, Motional’s President and CEO, said in a press release. “Today’s launch signals we’re on track to deliver a fully driverless service next year. Riders in Las Vegas can now experience Motional’s IONIQ 5 AV that will make that service a reality.”
Logan Green, Lyft’s CEO and co-founder, added that the IONIQ 5 goes a long way toward reaching the company’s goal of making driverless electric vehicles a reality for people everywhere.
“Today’s launch,” he said, “provides riders access to Motional’s autonomous technology in a way that will feel seamless, familiar, and personalized, all on a network they already trust. We are designing an autonomous experience where the only expectation for riders is to relax and enjoy the ride.”
According to Motional’s press release, riders will be able to control their ride without any driver assistance. Using the Lyft app, passengers will be able to unlock the vehicle’s doors, start the car, and communicate with customer service via an in-car display. Safety is ensured through a complex series of sensors, including radar, cameras, and LiDAR, while advanced in-car computers give the vehicle a comprehensive understanding of its surroundings.
Hopefully it goes more smoothly on crowded Vegas streets than Tesla’s Autopilot.