Motional, the $4 billion driverless technology joint venture between Aptiv and Hyundai, will help Australian authorities explore robo-taxi services, the company announced Oct. 19.
The company is helping New South Wales—Australia’s most populous state, and home to Australia’s largest city, Sydney—investigate “how a driverless ride-hail service could improve the New South Wales network by providing safer, more accessible, efficient, and affordable mobility options and understanding what needs to be adapted for Australian roads,” Joost de Kock, deputy secretary of customer strategy and technology for transportation and roads agency Transport for New South Wales, said in a statement.
Motional has made a number of key advances in robo-taxi research. In Las Vegas, it operates the longest-standing commercial robo-taxi service, providing more than 100,000 self-driving paid rides with zero at-fault incidents. It also launched Singapore’s first robo-taxi pilot initiative.
“We’re excited to be working with Motional to start laying the foundation for a driverless future in New South Wales,” de Kock said in a statement. “Today’s studies may very well shape how our communities move around in years to come.”
Future research will explore key questions about robo-taxi services, such as locations and infrastructure, passenger demand, connections to public transport and the benefits to local communities, de Kock said.
“We believe collaboration between our industry and innovative government partners like Transport for New South Wales is critical to making driverless vehicles a safe, global reality,” Gretchen Effgen, Motional’s vice president of go-tomarket and marketing, said in a statement. “We’re looking forward to working with Transport for New South Wales to better understand New South Wales’s transportation infrastructure, mobility needs, and how driverless vehicles can play a positive role.”