What’s happening: Motional, a leading autonomous vehicle company, is introducing three passenger-friendly service upgrades to its fleet of all-electric IONIQ 5 robotaxis in Las Vegas. The upgrades include night driving, a Remote Vehicle Assistance system, and a vehicle interface that enables passengers to control certain functions with their ride-hail app.
Why it matters: The three upgrades are designed to make the robotaxi experience more comfortable, eliminate the need for human operator supervision, and increase passenger safety as Motional prepares to go fully driverless later this year. With the remote assistance system, passengers can have greater control over their ride experience, including adjusting the vehicle’s climate control system and unlocking doors.
- Night driving is one of the three passenger-friendly service upgrades making its way to Motional’s fleet of robotaxis.
- The robotaxis are connected to a Remote Vehicle Assistance system that helps the vehicles navigate complex road scenarios and obstacles.
- Passengers can use their ride-hail app to interact with the AV in various ways, such as unlocking doors and adjusting the vehicle’s climate control system on select rides.
- Motional’s commitment to safety drove the decision to start passenger service during daytime hours while the company confirmed that its technology could safely handle all the challenges of driving in Las Vegas at night.
- Motional’s robotaxis rely on a sophisticated sensor suite that includes more than 30 cameras, radars, and lidars, and multiple sensing modalities to plot a safe course forward.
- Remote Vehicle Assistance enables the robotaxis to be guided around difficult situations, such as drawing a new path for the vehicle to follow.
- Motional has launched a vehicle interface that allows passengers to control certain functions with their ride-hail app, such as unlocking the vehicle, starting the ride, and controlling the vehicle’s climate control system.
Bottom line: Motional’s three upgrades to its IONIQ 5 robotaxis demonstrate the company’s commitment to safety, passenger comfort, and personalization. The autonomous vehicles will soon transition to fully driverless operations, and the upgrades will help passengers feel more in control of their ride experience.