Motional and Uber Technologies today announced a commercial agreement to offer fully driverless rides using Motional's new all-electric IONIQ 5-based robotaxis.
The 10-year, multi-market agreement creates the opportunity for effective scaling and broad adoption of AVs by pairing Motional's advanced driverless technology with Uber's network of millions of customers. The companies will strategically deploy the service in cities across the U.S., with the first trips expected to start later this year.
As part of the commercial partnership, Uber will share targeted insights to efficiently allocate and position Motional's vehicles. AVs present an opportunity to use those insights to optimize operations, including reducing vehicle downtime and unnecessary miles traveled, which enables the companies to maximize time spent in revenue-generating service. Smarter operation also translates into a better experience for Uber customers, ultimately leading to reduced wait times and lower fares.
Today's announcement represents an expansion of the Motional and Uber partnership, following a successful collaboration on delivery. Earlier this year, Motional began conducting autonomous food deliveries for Uber Eats customers in California. The pilot has been well received by customers and Motional and Uber have since expanded their delivery operations to service more restaurants.
Motional is now positioned to become the first AV company to offer both delivery and ride-hail services within a major network like Uber. Along with the multi-market driverless ride-hail service, the new agreement also enables further expansion of Motional's AVs for delivery with Uber Eats.