Source: Motional announcement
BOSTON — Motional, a global driverless technology leader, and Via, the leader in public mobility solutions, announced a first-of-its-kind partnership that will serve as a blueprint for the future of on-demand, shared robotaxis.
Motional and Via seek to use learnings from the partnership to inform how driverless vehicles can be integrated into mass transit networks and optimized for pooled rides.
The partnership’s first service — shared robotaxi rides available to the public — is expected to launch in one of Motional’s existing U.S. markets in the first half of 2021, expanding access to safe, affordable, and efficient transportation options. The initial launch market will be announced later.
Via and Motional share a long-term vision to change how the world moves and are building the digital infrastructure to help self-driving vehicles reach their full potential as part of large-scale transit networks. This requires vehicles to be on-demand, optimally routed, and shared by multiple passengers. Efficient utilization of self-driving vehicles will relieve congestion, improve environmental sustainability, and reduce operating costs for transit providers, while expanding transportation options for consumers.
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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 result will be a highly integrated, and autonomous, shared-ride system. In addition, the rider app will feature local public transit information, encouraging connection to local transit hubs through the service.
Via and Motional are working closely on protective measures — such as PPE, partitions, frequent sanitizing, contact tracing, and more — to ensure the health and safety of vehicle occupants. These protective measures will follow public health and government guidelines.
Motional vehicles power the world’s most established robotaxi fleet, a service that has safely conducted more than 100,000 rides. Motional launched the world’s first public robotaxi pilot (Singapore; 2016) and has long been at the forefront of driverless technology. Passenger feedback has been consistently and overwhelmingly positive.
Via is the only mobility company with experience in developing software that integrates with multiple AV providers to introduce shared, dynamically routed, on-demand transportation. Via has demonstrated its platform in Irvine, California for “BotRide”, and in integrated demonstrations with Navya and Aurrigo, and in its “BusBot” AV service in New South Wales, Australia.
To view the entire announcement, click HERE.