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Level 4 self-driving IONIQ 5 starts delivering food in California

Motional conducts autonomous deliveries for Uber Eats in Santa Monica. (Motional)
Motional conducts autonomous deliveries for Uber Eats in Santa Monica. (Motional)
Hyundai Motor’s IONIQ 5 loaded with Level 4 self-driving technology has started delivering food in California.

Motional, a US autonomous vehicle company that Hyundai Motor Group and US mobility startup Aptiv formed, and Uber Eats began operating their pilot program of automated delivery service in Santa Monica, California, on Tuesday.

The partnership was announced in December.

At Level 4, a vehicle can drive itself under limited conditions and will not operate if all required conditions are not satisfied.

This is the first time that Motional is using its automated vehicle as a mobility platform for automated food delivery service.

Motional customized IONIQ 5 to make it capable of providing an automated end-to-end delivery service, and conducted extensive testing in Los Angeles to ensure its safety, reliability, and efficiency.

The way it works is that an Uber Eats employee first gets an alarm that the automated IONIQ 5 has arrived and then puts the ordered food in the specially designed backseat of the vehicle.

Then the vehicle takes off with the food to the customer that ordered it.

Once the vehicle arrives, the customer gets an alarm to pick up the food during which the customer can open the door of the vehicle with the Uber Eats app.

Through this pilot program, Motional and Uber Eats will analyze and research its function, technology, demand, and convenience to expand mobility services for the public in 2023 with its automated vehicles.

“Autonomous delivery signifies the next phase of Motional‘s commercial roadmap,” said Abe Ghabra, Motional’s chief operating officer. “This service will provide the learnings and experience needed to make Motional the trusted AV provider for on-demand delivery networks. We‘re proud to partner with Uber on this important milestone and begin introducing Uber Eats customers to autonomous technology.”

By Hong Yoo (yoohong@heraldcorp.com)
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