Service of the publicly available autonomous fleet run by Motional and Lyft was paused earlier this year due to Covid-19 but has resumed with enhanced protective measures.
Motional has resumed its self-driving mobility service with Lyft in Las Vegas after pausing operations earlier this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
With the addition of enhanced protective measures, passengers can now ride in new Motional-branded robotaxis, operating on Lyft’s network.
“We’ve put extensive measures in place to keep our fleet thoroughly and frequently sanitised, and our passengers safe and healthy,” said Karl Iagnemma, president and CEO, Motional.
“We’re thrilled to bring the fleet back, and very proud of its place in history. It’s the longest-standing service of its kind, responsible for introducing self-driving cars to hundreds of thousands of people.”
The service resumes as consumers demand new transportation options, according to Motional. A recent report finds 70 per cent of Americans say coronavirus infection is a real concern impacting their transportation decisions, and one-in-five are more interested in driverless vehicles than they were before the pandemic.
“Getting this fleet back up and running is a significant jumping-off point as we prepare to launch a robust set of new features for the self-driving fleet”
The new protective measures follow CDC, World Health Organisation, and government guidelines, and include a partition between the front and rear seats, vehicle operator PPE, and vehicle sanitisation at the start of each shift, the end of each day, and between rides.
“In these turbulent times, it’s energising to see the continued innovation made by both Motional and Lyft as we push towards delivering self-driving cars at scale,” said Nadeem Sheikh, VP autonomous vehicles programmes at Lyft. “Getting this fleet back up and running is a significant jumping-off point as we prepare to launch a robust set of new features for the self-driving fleet.”
Motional claims its fleet, which launched in 2018, has provided over 100,000 rides to paying members of the public, with 98 per cent of passengers awarding their ride a five-star rating.
Motional is a joint venture between Hyundai Motor Group and Aptiv, a provider of advanced safety, electrification, and vehicle connectivity solutions.
Headquartered in Boston, Motional has operations in the US and Asia.
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