Motional, a global provider of driverless technology, and Via join forces for a first-of-its-kind partnership to show how driverless vehicles can be integrated into public transit and optimized for shared rides.
The partnership’s first service — shared robotaxi rides, available to the public — is expected to launch in one of Motional’s existing U.S. markets in the first half of 2021, expanding access to safe, affordable, and efficient transportation options. The initial launch market will be announced at a later date.
The partnership will seamlessly connect Motional’s driverless vehicles with Via technology that powers booking, routing, passenger and vehicle assignment and identification, customer experience, and fleet management. The result will be a highly-integrated, and autonomous, shared-ride system. In addition, the rider app will feature local public transit information, encouraging connection to local transit hubs through the service.
Via and Motional are working closely on protective measures — such as PPE, partitions, frequent sanitizing, and contact tracing — to ensure the health and safety of vehicle occupants and combat the effects of COVID-19. These protective measures will follow public health and government guidelines.
Launched as a joint venture between Hyundai Motor Group and Aptiv, Motional created the world’s first public robotaxi pilot in Singapore in 2016. Since then, the company has safely conducted over 100,000 rides.
Via has experience in developing software that integrates with multiple autonomous vehicle (AV) providers to introduce shared, on-demand transportation. The company has demonstrated its platform in Irvine, Calif., for “BotRide,” and in its “BusBot” AV service in New South Wales, Australia.