Lyft and Motional announce that it will soon launch its driverless ride-hailing service in Los Angeles. Its fleet will consist of Hyundai IONIQ 5 electric vehicles having the Motional Level 4 autonomous platform. The decision comes after driving for millions of miles in Las Vegas.
The two companies are expanding the ride-sharing venture to LA, offering residents and riders a new mode of transportation. Mayor Eric Garcetti is excited about the potential program, as it will add alternative transportation options for those who do not have a vehicle. “If we want to make good on our commitment to ease congestion while cutting emissions, we need to give Angelenos real alternatives to having their own vehicles,” Garcetti said. “Motional and Lyft have been true leaders in shaping the future of mobility in our City – and we look forward to working closely with them to safely introduce autonomous vehicles into our growing list of transportation options.”
Lyft has been operating in LA since 2013, and it was the company’s second market after its initial launch in San Francisco. “…It’s only fitting that it will be the second AV market we launch with our partner, Motional,” Logan Green, Lyft’s CEO and co-founder said. “Scaling AVs only works if riders can get a reliable ride, whether it’s autonomous or not, and together with Motional, Lyft will turn AV technology into transportation for Angelenos everywhere.”
Getting an autonomous ride in Los Angeles will be simple. All you have to do is request a ride in the Lyft app. Lyft has offered driverless rides in Las Vegas since 2018 with zero at-fault accidents. In the four years since launching the program, Lyft has given over 100,000 rides. It launched driverless rides in Las Vegas in the Hyundai IONIQ 5 earlier this year.
Lyft’s driverless IONIQ 5s are powered by Motional’s AI-first autonomous vehicle stack, which consists of over 30 sensors – a combination of cameras, radar, and LiDAR – providing ultra-long-range detection of objects accurately. It also has an onboard “compute” system that is responsible for processing all data that comes in from the robotaxi cameras and sensors. The driverless ride-hailing service has not yet launched in Los Angeles. Lyft and Motional said the launch date would be announced soon. Recognized by a jury of 102 automotive journalists representing 33 different countries, the IONIQ 5 was recognized as World Car of the Year, World Electric Vehicle of the Year, and World Car Design of the Year during a ceremony at the NYIAS.