Via and Motional, a global driverless technology company, have announced a partnership that will serve as a blueprint for the future of on-demand, shared robotaxis. The first service – available to the public – is expected to launch in one of Motional’s existing U.S. markets in the first half of 2021.
The partnership will seamlessly connect Motional’s self-driving vehicles with Via technology that powers booking, routing, passenger and vehicle assignment and identification, customer experience, and fleet management.
The two groups will seek to use learnings from the partnership to inform how driverless vehicles can be integrated into mass transit networks, and optimized for pooled rides.
Daniel Ramot, Via co-founder and CEO, says: “We are excited to partner with Motional to make autonomous shared ride programs an affordable and efficient transportation alternative to the private vehicle. By combining groundbreaking on-demand mobility solutions with best-in-class technology for self-driving vehicles, we are creating new and necessary transit options for communities around the globe.”
Karl Iagnemma, President and CEO, Motional, adds: “This partnership comes at an especially significant moment, as COVID reshapes our views on transportation and consumers demand more, flexible, and varied options. We’re thrilled to partner with Via and jointly lay the foundations for self-driving shared rides. This is another step towards driverless technology reaching its full potential.”
Motional vehicles have safely conducted over 100,000 rides. It launched the world’s first public robotaxi pilot in Singapore in 2016.