Automotive

All-electric Ioniq 5 robotaxi to join Lyft ride-hailing service in the US

All-electric Ioniq 5 robotaxi ...
The Ioniq 5 robotaxi is expected to start ride-hailing duty in 2023
The Ioniq 5 robotaxi is expected to start ride-hailing duty in 2023
View 6 Images
The Ioniq 5 robotaxi is expected to start ride-hailing duty in 2023
1/6
The Ioniq 5 robotaxi is expected to start ride-hailing duty in 2023
The Ioniq 5 robotaxi is based on the same Electric-Global Modular Platform as the commercially available model
2/6
The Ioniq 5 robotaxi is based on the same Electric-Global Modular Platform as the commercially available model
The Ioniq 5 electric hatchback is being fitted out with a suite of more than 30 sensors to aid its Level 4 autonomy
3/6
The Ioniq 5 electric hatchback is being fitted out with a suite of more than 30 sensors to aid its Level 4 autonomy
A relatively long wheelbase makes for a roomy passenger experience inside
4/6
A relatively long wheelbase makes for a roomy passenger experience inside
The Ioniq 5 robotaxi is due to make its public debut at IAA Mobility in Munich in September
5/6
The Ioniq 5 robotaxi is due to make its public debut at IAA Mobility in Munich in September
Zero tailpipe emissions and Level 4 autonomy in one ride-hailing package
6/6
Zero tailpipe emissions and Level 4 autonomy in one ride-hailing package
View gallery - 6 images

Hyundai launched the first vehicle in its new all-electric Ioniq brand back in February, the almost-true-to-concept Ioniq 5 hatchback. And now the company has partnered with autonomous vehicle company Motional to put the shapely EV to work as a robotaxi.

The Ioniq 5 is based on Hyundai's Electric-Global Modular Platform, with its 118-in (3,000-mm) wheelbase making for a relatively large cabin so that occupants can stretch out and enjoy the journey. The vehicle comes in several battery and motor configurations, and it's not clear which setup will be used for the robotaxi variant at this stage.

A relatively long wheelbase makes for a roomy passenger experience inside
A relatively long wheelbase makes for a roomy passenger experience inside

But, by way of an example, the vehicle could run on a 72.6-kWh long-range battery pack for a per-charge WLTP range of up to 298-miles (480-km), and roll with a single-motor RWD option that puts out 258 lb-ft (350 Nm) of torque and zips from standstill to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 7.4 seconds.

Not that such things will be important to ride-hailing passengers, who are promised "a spacious, comfortable place to work, relax, or socialize during their driverless ride." And should customers wish to amend the route along the way, or make additional stops, the vehicle will be equipped with rider-focused interfaces to allow for communication with onboard navigation systems.

The Ioniq 5 electric hatchback is being fitted out with a suite of more than 30 sensors to aid its Level 4 autonomy
The Ioniq 5 electric hatchback is being fitted out with a suite of more than 30 sensors to aid its Level 4 autonomy

The partnership is looking to make the Ioniq 5 robotaxi a Level 4 autonomous vehicle, which will use its suite of more than 30 sensors mounted around the vehicle to navigate without the need for a safety driver behind the steering wheel. This sensor suite of cameras, radars and LiDAR will monitor the world around the vehicle at up to 300 m (984 ft) away, and feed data into Motional's driverless technology suite.

Numerous redundancies are being built into the setup to ensure smooth operation and passenger safety during autonomous driving, though Motional technicians will be able to remotely take control should the vehicle get into trouble.

Zero tailpipe emissions and Level 4 autonomy in one ride-hailing package
Zero tailpipe emissions and Level 4 autonomy in one ride-hailing package

The robotaxi is expected to undergo many months of rigorous testing in simulated environments, on closed courses, and on public roads, before accepting it's first passenger, with Motional saying that the "testing is only completed once we're confident our robotaxis are safer than a human driver."

Motional has teamed up with ride-hailing service Lyft, and will begin ferrying passengers in Ioniq 5 robotaxis from 2023 across major US cities. But before then, the vehicle will make its public debut at the IAA Mobility in Munich expo, which runs from September 7-12.

Source: Hyundai

View gallery - 6 images
3 comments
3 comments
Grunchy
Imagine those sensors get dirty out in the weather somehow and the car ends up crashing as a consequence.
(Most people are equipped with "eyelids" for self-cleaning our optical sensors.)
Nelson Hyde Chick
In 38 states the most common job is driver of some sort, taxi, truck, van, bus etc... What happens when all those jobs are obsolete?
Daishi
@Nelson Hyde Chick In most popular jobs Truck Driver is about 14th and the rest are lower and in the middle of a labor shortage. Even if you replaced them over night (never going to happen) there are many other available jobs. Aside from that most drivers do more than just drive. Some of them grocery shop, help prepare food, load and unload etc. and you would need to replace that aspect of their job too (for cheaper than employing them). It's going to take more than someone in a spandex Tesla robot suit for that to happen any decade soon. If you are worried about a labor surplus start a company.