Motional is teaming up with Via to launch a shared robotaxi service in the US in the first half of 2021.
Via co-founder Daniel Ramot says it will “partner with Motional to make autonomous shared ride programmes an affordable and efficient transportation alternative to the private vehicle”.
Motional says it will use learnings from the partnership to inform how autonomous vehicles (AVs) can be integrated into mass transit networks and optimised for pooled rides.
Motional is to connect its AVs with Via technology relating to booking, routing, passenger and vehicle assignment and fleet management.
Additionally, Via’s rider app will feature local public transit information, encouraging connection to local transit hubs through the service.
The partners will establish protective measures such as personal protective equipment (PPE), partitions, frequent sanitising and contact tracing to ensure the health and safety of vehicle occupants.
Motional CEO Karl Iagnemma says: “This partnership comes at an especially significant moment, as Covid reshapes our views on transportation and consumers demand more, flexible, and varied options.”
The coronavirus pandemic has also prompted the company to introduce protective measures for its AV mobility service in Las Vegas.