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Uber ties up with Motional to roll out driverless delivery vehicles in US

Uber ties up with Motional to roll out driverless delivery vehicles in US
17 Jan, 2022
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The future of automated or driverless cars may be in a limbo in India, but such products are already gaining eminence in the United States. After Tesla, Waymo (formerly the Google self-driving car project), Uber Technologies is now working on autonomous vehicles.  

Uber has collaborated with global driverless technology leader Motional for the purpose. The all-electric vehicles will conduct deliveries of a curated set of meal kits from select restaurants on Uber Eats, an online food ordering and delivery platform of Uber Technologies. 

Sarfraz Maredia, vice president and Head of Uber Eats in the US & Canada, said, “Our consumers and merchant partners have come to expect convenience, reliability and innovation from Uber, and this collaboration represents a huge opportunity to meet —and exceed— those expectations.”  

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Also read: Tesla could get tough competition for its driverless cars in 2-4 years

Incidentally, Uber already had its own self-driving car subsidiary ATG, which it eventually disposed of to an autonomous vehicle startup Aurora in December 2020. 

Motional, a joint venture between Hyundai Moto Group and auto component player Aptiv, revealed that it will be using all-electric Hyundai IONIQ 5-based ‘Robotaxi’, with in-vehicle modifications in place to enable autonomous deliveries. To be hitting the Californian roads this year, these will be Motional’s first SAE Level 4 vehicles (Level 4 of vehicle autonomy) that will be used for delivery applications, as revealed by the company. The company has also joined hands with Lyft for similar driverless vehicle which is slated for a rollout by 2023.   

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Karl Iagnemma, Motional's President and CEO, said, “We're proud that our first delivery partner is Uber and are eager to begin using our trusted driverless technology to offer efficient and convenient deliveries to customers in California. We're confident this will be a successful collaboration with Uber and see many long-term opportunities for further deploying Motional's technology across the Uber platform.”