On Tuesday, Motional, an American autonomous vehicle company, revealed the first images of a Hyundai all-electric Ioniq 5 SUV, its first planned robotaxi.
The company wants to make the robotaxi available to customers through the Lyft app by 2023.
Hyundai will assemble purpose-built vehicles by integrating Motional’s autonomous vehicle technology. The suite will include more than 30 sensors including radar, lidar, and cameras that see the interior and exterior. Its sensing system provides 360 degrees of vision, according to Motional, and the ability to see up to 300 meters away.
In a recent interview, Karl Iagnemma, president and CEO, said born out of a $4 billion joint venture with Aptiv and Hyundai, Motional intentionally showcases the numerous sensors.
“We see so many competitors bending over backward to try to hide this sensor suite and conceal it in these big plastic casings,” Iagnemma told.
“And the fact is, you can’t hide the sensors. They need to be where they need to be and they’re an important part of the car and a key part of the technology. So, our strategy was to celebrate the sensors, and to adapt the design language of the vehicle and carry that through the design of the integrated sensor suite.”
The company has still not announced the launch dates and place for its first driverless Robotaxi service. However, it will likely be on cities including Boston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Pittsburgh, some cities they are currently testing in.
Lagnemma said that their research shows that the majority of ride-hailing trips are for two or fewer passengers. However, for Motional’s use case, loniq 5 is the right size vehicle.
The Hyundai Ioniq 5 will be the first vehicle based on the Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), their dedicated electric battery vehicle platform.
The vehicle is equipped with an 800-volt electrical system. This system was debuted in Porsche Taycan, it is lighter, efficient, and allows the vehicle to charge faster. This will be fast-charging rate will be an important feature for robotaxi service.
Iagnemma said the robotaxi version of the Ioniq 5 will be assembled by Hyundai, a noteworthy detail.