Uber and Motional launch driverless taxi service in Vegas
Ride-hailing firm Uber and driverless-car manufacturer Motional have announced the launch of its public robotaxi service in Las Vegas, US.
Uber customers in Las Vegas will now be able to hail a driverless ride in one of Motional’s all-electric Hyundai IONIQ robotaxis.
Motional has already partnered with similar services in Las Vegas on both the Lyft and Via networks, but this is Uber’s first time sending robotaxis to the public, with plans to launch in Los Angeles, California in the future.
In Vegas, customers interested in taking a ride in a Motional robotaxi can choose to do so through the Uber app and selecting either UberX or Uber Comfort Electric.
Human safety operators will be inside the vehicles at first, but the plan is for the vehicles to be completely driverless in 2023.
The robotaxi service will also initially be free while the firms collect user feedback, and customers will also be able to choose whether to opt-in for an autonomous ride before agreeing to it on the app.
This marks Uber’s and Motional’s second partnership product as the pair began conducting autonomous deliveries for Uber’s food delivery branch Uber Eats in Los Angeles earlier this year. The service is currently still being trialled.
Soon, it seems, Las Vegas will be bumper-to-bumper filled with electric and self-driving vehicles with its underground transport service, made up of Tesla cars, connecting the cities hotels and convention centres.
At the moment, the network, otherwise known at ‘The Loop’ uses Tesla’s Model 3 and Model X cars with human drivers behind the wheel, but future plans for use of self-driving cars have been proposed.
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