Hyundai invests nearly one billion dollars in Motional

Hyundai has agreed to invest almost one billion dollars in Motional, an all-electric robotaxi company. This investment will give the Korean car manufacturer a majority stake in the company.

Image: Hyundai

Hyundai is investing 475 million dollars directly in Motional. The investment is part of a broader deal that also includes the purchase of shares from joint venture partner Aptiv. Hyundai will spend a further 448 million dollars to buy 11 per cent of Aptiv’s stake in Motional. Aptiv also announced that it expects to reduce its stake in Motional from 50 per cent to approximately 15 per cent as of 31 March, leaving Hyundai with an 85 per cent stake.

Kevin Clark, chairman and CEO of automotive supplier Aptiv, had indicated in January that the company would reduce its stake in Motional. At the time, the company stated that it would no longer invest capital in Motional due to the high cost of commercialising a robotaxi business and the long road to profitability. Hyundai is now stepping in and keeping Aptiv’s vision alive with its investment.

Motional has tested its autonomous vehicles in Boston, Pittsburgh, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Singapore with a safety driver at the wheel. The company’s go-to-market strategy is to partner with existing ride-hail platforms such as Uber, Lyft and Via to offer rides to customers. Motional aims to launch a robotaxi service with driverless all-electric Hyundai Ioniq 5 vehicles in 2024.

In November 2023, Motional and Hyundai announced plans to jointly build a production-ready version of this robotaxi version of the Ioniq 5 at the carmaker’s new innovation centre in Singapore, the Hyundai Motor Group Innovation Centre Singapore (HMGICS). At CES 2024, Motional also announced that it will be working with Kia on a next-generation vehicle to be launched later this decade, with the first phases of development starting this year.

The changes at Motional come at a time when the robotaxi industry continues to face uncertainty. Google subsidiary Waymo is furthest along in commercialisation, having already launched a fully driverless, pay-as-you-drive robotaxi service in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Phoenix. GM’s Cruise, on the other hand, is still not on the roads after an incident in October 2023 in which a pedestrian was trapped and dragged under one of its robotaxis, but the company is working on reintroducing it on public roads in Phoenix. And then there’s Tesla. CEO Elon Musk has turned his company upside down, laying off thousands of employees and increasing investment in artificial intelligence, with the stated aim of “going all-in on autonomy” and delivering a robotaxi in August.

1 Comment

about „Hyundai invests nearly one billion dollars in Motional“
Ian Short
06.05.2024 um 08:50
I've just finished reading a book (look both ways by Linwood Barley) about a virus infected into the system of arrival autonomous cars . The results are catastrophic. That's why I'll never ride in one. The forward to the book is an impressive defence of the internal combustion engine.

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