Ride-hailing service Lyft announced on Thursday that it is partnering with driverless technology firm Motional to launch a robotaxi option for users based in Los Angeles.
Faced with tough regulatory scrutiny, no specific release date for this service has been announced. Delays to the launch of this service may also arise due to a lagging commercial adoption of autonomous vehicle technology, largely due to the aforementioned legal scrutiny.
Despite such challenges facing the commercialization of autonomous vehicle technology, several robotaxi services are being launched at the same time that the partnership between Lyft and Motional gets underway.
Motional competitor Waymohas has already launched its own autonomous ride-hailing service in Phoenix, Arizona, entering the market last week. Motional is also making strides with its own commercialization efforts, also entering into a 10-year agreement with Uber Technologies Inc to supply the ride-hailing service with autonomous vehicles of its own.
The vehicles that Motional will supply Lyft with are the Hyundai Motor Co’s IONIQ5 electric car. Motional is a joint venture between Hyundai and automotive technology company Aptiv.