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Motional, a self-driving joint venture between Hyundai and Aptiv, is partnering with Uber for autonomous deliveries.
Starting in Santa Monica, California, next year, Motional’s electric vehicles will deliver a series of curated meal kits from select restaurants on Uber Eats.
Motional’s Hyundai Ioniq 5-based robotaxis are level 4 autonomous vehicles with some choice modifications to ensure smooth performance.
“Today, Motional enters the autonomous delivery market,” says Karl Iagnemma, Motional’s President and CEO.
“We’re proud that our first delivery partner is Uber and are eager to begin using our trusted driverless technology to offer efficient and convenient deliveries to customers in California. We’re confident this will be a successful collaboration with Uber and see many long-term opportunities for further deploying Motional’s technology across the Uber platform.”
The two companies see autonomous vehicles playing an “important role” in the on-demand delivery karkey. The two companies believe that AVs will help increase access to convenient and affordable deliveries. Of course, quite how UberEats riders fare in all this is unclear.
“We’re excited to partner with Motional to test a new kind of delivery for Uber Eats consumers in 2022,” says Sarfraz Maredia, VP and Head of Uber Eats in the US & Canada.
“Our consumers and merchant partners have come to expect convenience, reliability and innovation from Uber, and this collaboration represents a huge opportunity to meet —and exceed— those expectations.”
Motional, of course, has already conducted public trials of its vehicles. In Las Vegas earlier this year, for example, the company was using its robotaxis to help move customers around Sin City. It plans to launch the service proper in 2023, in a partnership with Uber rival Lyft.
In fact, Motional has provided more than 100,000 public trips with “zero at-fault incidents.”
Uber Eats currently operates in more than 6,000 cities around the world with 780,000 merchants ranging from restaurants to off-licenses to help get people the food and drinks they need.