The Hyundai Ioniq 5 has got enthusiasts excited, and the retro EV will also form the basis for a self-driving taxi fleet.
Developed by Motional, the new Hyundai Ioniq 5 Robotaxi is said to be a Level 4 autonomous vehicle that’s capable of driving itself without human intervention in situations it was designed to handle, but can still be driven by a person.
To transform the Ioniq 5 into a self-driving taxi, Motional has fitted the electric hatch-slash-crossover with a suite of 30 sensors, including cameras and radar and LIDAR units.
Motional says this hardware gives the car a 360-degree view of the world, and allows for “ultra-long range detection of objects for safe autonomous operation in diverse driving environments”.
Riders across the US will be able to book an Ioniq 5 Robotaxi using the Lyft ride-sharing app from 2023.
According to the companies, the self-driving taxi will available in “multiple” cities, although none have been named.
Interior modifications include illuminated signs, and a touchscreen that allows for route modifications to be made.
In the promotional photographs supplied by the two firms, the Ioniq 5 Robotaxi has a driver’s seat, but no front passenger seat.
If there is problem along the way, “such as road construction or flooding”, the Robotaxi can be controlled remotely by a human to set it on a new path.
There are a few automated taxi services in limited testing service in the US, including Google’s Waymo in the Phoenix metro area, and Cruise — which is funded by GM and Honda — in San Francisco.
Currently Google’s Waymo is operating a publicly accessible automated taxi service in parts of the Phoenix metro area.
More details are set to announced when the Ioniq 5 Robotaxi is unveiled at the Munich motor show, which is due to kick off on September 7.