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Uber is installing a new fleet of high-end, ‘self-driving taxis’: ‘This agreement will be instrumental’

“This agreement will be instrumental to the wide scale adoption of robotaxis.”

Self-driving Uber logo

Uber wants to take the sharing out of ridesharing by deploying self-driving Hyundai Ioniq 5s in cities across the country.

The transportation giant announced on Oct. 6 that it’ll be rolling out the autonomous taxis on its platform later this year. The company went even further by promising to also test out some autonomous food delivery services through Uber Eats. 

Both the self-driving rides and food deliveries will use the Ioniq 5, a high-end electric vehicle (EV) that doesn’t produce harmful carbon pollution and can go over 300 miles between charges. 

Uber’s partnership with Motional

In order to get these self-driving EVs on the road as soon as possible, Uber entered into a 10-year partnership with Motional, a Boston-based autonomous vehicle company. 

The partnership, according to Uber, will help drive down both delivery costs and wait times for riders, as well as pollution. Motional will be supplying the self-driving EVs, and Uber will be assisting Motional by providing it with data to improve its software.

This access to Uber’s platform will seriously help Motional better its product and the rate at which the country uses self-driving taxis. 

“This agreement will be instrumental to the wide scale adoption of robotaxis,” Karl Iagnemma, the CEO of Motional, said in a press release. “Motional now has unparalleled access to millions of riders and a roadmap to scale significantly over the next ten years.”

Uber’s recent announcement about self-driving vehicles comes alongside its promise to phase out the use of gas-powered cars on its platform by the end of the decade. 

And according to Noah Zych, Uber’s global head of autonomous mobility, this isn’t a coincidence: 

“Through our partnership with Motional, we aspire to … bring more electric vehicles to U.S. roads — creating cleaner, less congested transportation for cities and riders.”

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