Transport for NSW investigates driverless ride share services

Motional and Hyundai Motor Group recently unveiled the IONIQ 5-based robotaxi. Image courtesy of Motional.
Motional and Hyundai Motor Group recently unveiled the IONIQ 5-based robotaxi. Image courtesy of Motional.

New South Wales is one step closer to autonomous mobility with Transport for NSW launching a plan to investigate driverless ride share services in partnership with global driverless technology leader, Motional.

Joost de Kock, Deputy Secretary Customer Strategy and Technology, Transport for NSW said the plan would help lay the foundation to prepare the launch of a future robotaxi service, in what would be an Australian-first.

“We need to start thinking about a number of factors such as locations and infrastructure, passenger demand, connections to public transport, and the benefits to local communities,” Mr de Kock said.

Motional is an American autonomous vehicle company founded in March 2020 as a joint venture between automaker Hyundai Motor Group and auto supplier Aptiv. Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, Motional also maintains operations in Pittsburgh, Singapore, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles.

Motional is at the forefront of driverless technology and is behind some of the industry’s largest leaps forward. In Singapore, the company launched the first-ever robotaxi pilot and in Las Vegas, it operates the longest-standing commercial robotaxi in service.

That service has provided more than 100,000 rides with zero at-fault incidents. Earlier this year, Motional also became among the first in the world to operate fully driverless vehicles on public roads, following a robust two-year safety evaluation process.

“The partnership will help us better understand how a driverless ride share service could improve the NSW network by providing safer, more accessible, efficient, and affordable mobility options and understanding what needs to be adapted for Australian roads,” Mr de Kock said.

“We’re excited to be working with Motional to start laying the foundation for a driverless future in NSW. Today’s studies may very well shape how our communities move around in years to come.”

Gretchen Effgen, Vice President Go To Market and Marketing, Motional said working with TfNSW, Motional would look to better understand NSW’s transportation infrastructure, mobility needs, and how driverless vehicles can play a positive role.

“The work we are doing will lay the groundwork to inform important decisions about this technology down the road,” she added.

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