Electronics and Semiconductors

Motional to de-emphasize robotaxi testing

10 May 2024
Motional will de-emphasize its focus on autonomous vehicle testing and will instead focus on core driverless technology as it believes commercial deployments are a long way off. Source: Motional

Motional, the joint venture between Hyundai Motor Group and Aptiv, is making a strategic shift to focus resources on the development of core driverless technology.

The company will also de-emphasize near-term commercial deployments and ancillary activities such as robotaxi testing.

Why are they taking a step back?

Motional said that while large-scale driverless deployment is the long-term goal it will not happen overnight. And while the initial commercial deployments of Motional autonomous vehicles have yielded much data, the technology is not in a spot where it can be deployed in a large-scale fashion.

Motional added that it remains convinced that autonomous vehicles have a spot in the future of the automotive sector and can be the transformative technology to:

  • Improve roadway safety
  • Reduce emissions
  • Enhance overall driving experience

The move comes just a week after Hyundai infused $475 million in direct investment into Motional and Aptiv continued to take a step back and will eventually only own 15% of Motional after it sells some of its stake to Hyundai and sells some of the shares of common equity interest.

“This new round demonstrates the [Hyundai’s] belief in the strategic importance of autonomous technology and its confidence in Motional’s ability to capitalize on the tremendous market opportunity enabled by autonomy,” said Karl Iagnemma, president and CEO of Motional.

Hyundai’s continued investment comes after Motional became the first autonomous vehicle in April to successfully pass Nevada’s Department of Motor Vehicles’ driving test. With a Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) agent on board, the Ioniq 5 robotaxi traversed obstacles, navigated around Las Vegas and followed the directions of the agent through the highly populated Strip area of the city.

To contact the author of this article, email PBrown@globalspec.com

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