Lyft and Motional pick Las Vegas for commercial robotaxi launch in 2023

Driverless tech-maker Motional AD and U.S. ride-hailing firm Lyft Inc (LYFT.O) will launch a fully driverless public ride-hailing service in Las Vegas starting 2023, the companies said on Tuesday.

The driverless vehicles will be provided by Motional, a joint venture between Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Co (005380.KS) and auto supplier Aptiv (APTV.N), and will be based on a Hyundai platform. The vehicles will be deployed in Lyft’s ride-sharing network.

The companies had announced last year they would launch a multi-city U.S. robotaxi service in 2023.

While the Lyft-Motional partnership is non-exclusive, the companies have been working together for over three years on a pilot program in Las Vegas.

The service would initially be made available to the wider public in the second half of 2022 for rider feedback, the companies said, before its commercial launch in 2023.

Earlier in September, Motional said it was expanding its footprint in Las Vegas by tripling the size of its testing facility, doubling its operations center and hiring over 100 new employees.