Autonomous tech developer Motional unveiled the new Hyundai Ioniq 5 self-driving taxi on Tuesday, August 31, 2020. Prior to this reveal, the company already revealed the base model design last February and it is slated to hit the market come fall.
Motional is an automated driving systems (ADS) company. According to Tech Crunch, Motional was formed through a joint venture by Aptiv and Hyundai, a partnership that is valued at a massive $4 billion.
The all-electric vehicle is an SUV that will be primarily assembled by Hyundai. Tech Crunch states that the robocar is the first electric vehicle by Hyundai that falls under its new e-GMP EV platform, otherwise known as the Electric Global Modula Platform.
The driverless software system will be equipped with a total of 30 sensors. It will leverage sensors such as radar and lidar, as well as ultrasound, and the use of cameras, reports the Los Angeles Times.
The use of these sensors allows the driverless vehicle to gain access to 360 degrees of vision as well as the capacity to see even from a distance of 300 meters away, reveals Tech Crunch.
Moreover, the vehicle is also designed with an 800-volt electric system. While the higher capacity can provide the same amount of power to the vehicle, Tech Crunch states that it can do so without having to use as much current. The higher voltage also makes for a more efficient change as it allows the vehicle to charge faster.
In a statement to Tech Crunch, chief executive officer and president of Motional Karl Iagnemma said, “We see so many competitors bending over backwards to try to hide this sensor suite and conceal it in these big plastic casings.”
“And the fact is, you can’t hide the sensors. They need to be where they need to be and they’re an important part of the car and a key part of the technology. So our strategy was to celebrate the sensors, and to adapt the design language of the vehicle and carry that through the design of the integrated sensor suite,” continued Iagnemma.
The robotaxi is slated to come to Lyft by 2023 to be used for its ride-hailing services. It will officially launch the robotaxi service come 2024, but has yet to reveal more details about it, said the Los Angeles Times.
Alongside the aforementioned features, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 will be equipped with interactive features designed to complement the riding experience of passengers, such as providing additional directions to make an extra stop. Tech Crunch states it will come with a steering wheel, but passengers will not be allowed to sit in the driver’s seat.
As of writing, the Los Angeles Times states that its driverless cars are now being tested across different countries and cities, such as Singapore, Boston, Las Vegas, and Pittsburgh. Meanwhile, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 will be tested in Los Angeles.