Motional, the autonomous vehicle company created through a joint venture between Hyundai and Aptiv, has started testing fully autonomous prototypes in Las Vegas without safety drivers behind the steering wheel.
The company confirmed in a statement that the tests were conducted earlier this month, noting that the vehicles did things such as “navigating intersections, unprotected turns, and interactions with other road users, including pedestrians and cyclists.”
Motional has conducted 1.5 million miles of testing in a process that has taken hundreds of employees more than 100,000 hours to complete. Testing in Las Vegas involved a safety operator in the car during public testing but also included testing on closed courses without a safety operator. Motional has also only tested its vehicles during the day.
Hyundai and Aptiv’s joint venture had their systems and operations reviewed by world-leading independent technical service provider TÜV SÜD before commencing testing.
“Not all driverless systems are created equal. Ours is the product of decades of innovation, a relentless commitment to safety and process, more than a million miles of testing, and a rigorous external review,” president and chief executive of Motional, Karl Iagnemma, said in a statement. “We’re one of the first companies in the world to go driverless. It’s a significant step on our path to making driverless vehicles a safe, reliable, and accessible reality, and a proud day for Motional.”
Motional and Lyft will launch a scalable, fully-driverless, multimarket service in 2023. The companies already operate the world’s longest-standing commercial robotaxi service and have completed more than 100,000 rides with zero at-fault incidents.