L.A. to get its 1st robotaxi test fleet from driverless car tech company

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An image of a Motional robotaxi, built on a Hyundai Ioniq 5 motor vehicle platform. A lidar sensor system sits atop the car.(Motional)

An image of a Motional robotaxi, built on a Hyundai Ioniq 5 motor vehicle platform. A lidar sensor system sits atop the car.(Motional)

If you’ve driven around the Bay Area lately, there’s a good chance you’ve spotted a driverless test car sharing the highway, a whirling lidar array atop its roof. Not so much in the Southland. Little robot car testing has been conducted in Southern California to date.

That will change soon. Driverless car technology company Motional announced Tuesday that it will deploy “in the near term” a test fleet of new Hyundai Ioniq 5 electric cars in and around Los Angeles, fitted with its robotaxi technology.

The Boston-based company earlier this month announced a major expansion of its Santa Monica office, including the addition of more autonomous vehicle engineering specialists.

Motional is a joint venture of Hyundai Motor Group and motor vehicle parts supplier Aptiv. The Hyundai Ioniq 5 compact electric SUV is a landmark product for the South Korean company, built on a new platform specifically engineered for electric vehicles. It’s due to hit the U.S. market this fall. (Hyundai is based in Seoul. Its U.S. headquarters is in Fountain Valley, highly visible alongside the 405 Freeway.)

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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