Hyundai reveals the robotaxi it built for Lyft, and a version for its very own metaverse

Hey kids? Wanna play with the future of electro-robotic transport? You get to do it two years before Lyft


South Korean automaker Hyundai has unveiled its fully driverless electric IONIQ 5 Robotaxi.

Developed in partnership with Motional, a joint venture between the automaker Hyundai Motor Group and auto parts company Aptiv, the car weirdly represents Hyundai partnering with itself. However, Motional is different – the company, founded in March 2020, focuses on the development and commercialization of autonomous vehicles. IONIQ 5 is Motional's first commercially available vehicle.

The robotaxi design is based on Hyundai's electric compact crossover SUV of the same name, the Hyundai IONIQ 5, launched earlier this year. The robotaxi version is classified as a level-4 autonomous vehicle, meaning it can operate without a driver. However the vehicles come equipped with Remote Vehicle Assistance (RVA) which allows a remote Motional operator to take control if needed.

The robotaxi comes with over 30 sensors - cameras, radars and lidar - that combine to deliver 360-degree perception, high-res images and long-range detection of obstacles. The driving tech relies on machine learning of a decade of real-world data.

Passengers can interact with the vehicle from the inside to add stops along the route, change the radio station, and other such comfort controls.

A canned statement from Hyundai calls the robotaxi "the convergence of the two most transformative technologies in mobility: electrification and autonomy".

The IONIQ 5 robotaxi debuts publicly at IAA Mobility in Munich, September 7–12. The vehicle will begin providing rides in 2023 through a partnership with US ride-sharing app Lyft.

However, the original Hyundai SUV IONIQ 5 is available in the company's new metaverse space, titled "Hyundai Mobility Adventure," which opened for beta service today.

Hyundai is the first automaker to assume people want to play with its cars via an avatar on Roblox. The South Korean company is hoping inclusion in the virtual space with 43.2 million daily users will attract youngsters to the brand.

"To build innovative relationships with young people, we will strengthen our virtual customer experience content for familiarizing them with Hyundai Motor's new vehicles and future mobility solutions on Hyundai Mobility Adventure, one of our next-generation CX platforms," said Hyundai exec Thomas Schemera in another canned statement.

Within Hyundai Mobility Adventure, avatars can travel to five themed parks – including a festival square where one can celebrate and attend events virtually without risking contracting COVID, and an ultramodern city. An eco-forest, a racing park and a tech campus will also be available within the experience sometime in 2021.

Hyundai released a promotional video to help you further understand its metaverse marketing product experience:

Youtube Video

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