Motional, the self-driving technology company formed by Hyundai and automotive supplier Aptiv in a $ 4 billion deal last August, is about to go driverless with its prototypes.
The company announced last week it will deploy driverless prototypes on public roads in Nevada in the coming months.
Motional has tested its self-driving prototypes for years under the auspices of Aptiv, with much of the testing taking place in Nevada. The company launched a limited automated taxi service in Las Vegas in 2018 on a trial basis, and was recently granted permission from Nevada officials to start testing prototypes without anyone onboard.
Motional has also been testing its prototypes in the cities of Boston, Pittsburgh, Santa Monica, Seoul and Singapore. The company said this global footprint will enable it to create a self-driving system that can navigate a wide range of international road environments, including left-and right-hand drive, harsh sun and heavy rain, highways and city streets, roundabouts and uncontrolled intersections.
The goal of Motional is to develop a reliable and robust self-driving system with Level 4 capability on the SAE scale, and then license this system to third parties including other automakers. A Level 4 self-driving system can operate a car on its own within set conditions, the main one typically being a geofenced area with sufficient map data. Level 5, the ultimate goal, is a self-driving system with the same capability as a human driver.
Motional has previously said it will have a self-driving system ready to license as early as 2022.