Live Pics: Hyundai Robotaxi Meets Humans, Humans Take Pictures of Robotaxi

Hyundai has turned its Ioniq 5 into a robotaxi, and the company just dubbed it Robotaxi. It was showcased at the IAA 2021 in Munich as a vehicle that looks like it has been outfitted by aliens with tech, but it just got all the sensors it needs to be able to drive itself on the open road.
Hyundai Ioniq 5 Robotaxi 15 photos
Photo: Stefan Baldauf / Guido ten Brink
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The Robotaxi from Hyundai is developed with the help of Motional, a joint venture between the Korean brand and Aptiv. It was first revealed online in late August, and prototypes are already being tested in Las Vegas, Boston, Pittsburgh, and Singapore. Los Angeles is the next city on the list, and others will follow.

Current tests are done with human drivers behind the wheel, but there will come a day when these vehicles will drive themselves. Once that happens, it is only a matter of time before they become the norm for ride-hailing applications, as well as taxi companies.

While that seems like a dystopia, it is the eventual course of development for this kind of vehicle. Hyundai's Ioniq 5 already had a futuristic look to it, so it is not hard to turn it into something that seems to come from a sci-fi movie. Add a set of sensors, and it looks the part.

As you look through the photo gallery of this story, check out the flush-mounted roof fitment points. These hold a large device that has numerous sensors in it, but the coolest part about the whole thing is the nonexistent gap between it and the roof of the Ioniq 5 Robotaxi.

The first passengers of these robotaxis will get their rides in 2023, and these will come through a partnership with Lyft, Motional explained. Hyundai or Motional are not the first companies to offer self-driving vehicles as taxis for the public, but it is interesting to note competition in the field of giants like Waymo and Uber.

Will Hyundai and Motional build a better Robotaxi than the aforementioned companies? That is tough to guess now, but we think all robotaxis should be able to do the same thing, which is drive, pick up their passengers, and deliver them to the selected destination without crashing.

If these robotaxis can do this without a hitch every single time, they will be accepted into society. A single crash or a sequence of unfortunate events could significantly damage human trust in this kind of vehicle, so developers must be extra careful with the rollout of these products.
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About the author: Sebastian Toma
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Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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