A Hyundai-backed startup is delaying its driverless taxi ambitions

Hyundai Motor Co. and Aptiv’s joint self-driving car joint venture is pausing its operations, delaying commercialization plans, and laying off employees, according to the startup’s CEO.

The decision comes a week after Hyundai agreed to spend $900 million to keep the startup, Motional, afloat in return for a larger stake. After the purchase, the South Korean automaker will own about 85% of the venture. Aptiv and Hyundai each invested $2 billion investment to launch the startup in March 2020.

Motional CEO Karl Iagnemma on Tuesday said in a blog post that despite the startup’s success, large-scale deployment of driverless cars “will not happen overnight.”

Motional has introduced a Level 4 autonomous vehicle, the all-electric Ioniq 5 robotaxi, and completed more than 100,000 autonomous rides in Las Vegas and “thousands” of food deliveries in Los Angeles through its partnerships with Uber and Lyft.

Receive Our Newsletter

Get the latest Safety21 news sent to your inbox.