Free Lyft robotaxis are hitting Las Vegas 

Lyft riders can now get a free ride in an autonomous vehicle.

Lyft and autonomous vehicles company Motional have begun a public robotaxi service in Las Vegas. 

Motional’s autonomous Ioniq 5’s will be added to Lyft’s service, with riders being given the option of hailing an autonomous ride.

The service will not require jumping through any special hoops, and the rides are currently free.

“The service is open to the public,” Motional VP of commercialization Akshay Jaising told The Verge. “Any Lyft rider in Las Vegas can request a Motional AV. No NDAs. No sign-ups. That’s how Motional and Lyft have operated for the past four years. We believe the best feedback is from real riders, not employees or limited participants.”

For now, safety drivers will still be present behind the wheel in case of any complications, but the service expects to go fully autonomous in 2023 and then expand into other US cities, the Motional said in a statement.

Any Lyft rider in Vegas can request the robotaxis. Safety drivers will still be present behind the wheel in case of any complications, but the service expects to go fully autonomous in 2023.

Designed to be driverless: While the safety drivers will be there at first, Motional and Lyft are switching on the cars’ entire suite of fully autonomous features.

Unlike many driverless cars in testing, the Ioniq 5 isn’t an existing model made into an autonomous vehicle; rather, it was built from the axle-up for the job by Motional’s parent company, Hyundai. 

Customized features for Lyft riders include hailing the car and unlocking the door via the app, as well as a passenger display in the backseat to begin the ride or contact customer service, features informed by “extensive research and feedback from real riders to maximize their comfort and ease of use,” the company said. 

Cruising the strip: Motional, a joint venture of Hyundai and Irish-American automotive tech firm Aptiv, has been testing autonomous vehicles in Vegas for four years, The Verge reports. 

Since beginning with a weeklong pilot program between Lyft and Aptiv at CES 2018, they’ve completed 100,000 passenger trips. 

“We’ve led the industry in commercial operations for years, and today’s launch signals we’re on track to deliver a fully driverless service next year,” Karl Iagnemma, Motional’s president and CEO, said in a statement.

We’d love to hear from you! If you have a comment about this article or if you have a tip for a future Freethink story, please email us at [email protected]

Related
“Up to 2.4 million new apartments” legalized by bipartisan California legislation
Millions of new apartments in commercial areas and near transit have been legalized by new California laws just signed by Governor Gavin Newsom.
A neural network discovered Copernicus’ heliocentricity on its own
Scientists trained a neural network to predict the movements of Mars and the Sun, which placed the Sun at the center of our solar system.
This Stable Diffusion mod will turn you into a Pokémon 
Stable Diffusion, an open-source text-to-image AI, has been modified to generate Pokémon-like characters from simple text prompts.
How do DALL-E, Midjourney, Stable Diffusion, and other forms of generative AI work? 
DALL-E and other types of generative AI can produce images that look like photographs, paintings, or drawings that were created by humans.
Air Canada orders 30 electric-hybrid aircraft for takeoff in 2028
Flag carrier Air Canada has announced plans to have electric-hybrid planes on regional and commuter routes by 2028.
Up Next
supersonic planes
Subscribe to Freethink for more great stories