Nearly two years after selling its autonomous vehicle research division to a competitor, Uber is finally back in the robotaxi business. The company signed a 10-year multimarket deal with Motional, a joint venture between Hyundai and Aptiv, to deploy autonomous vehicles on its ride-hailing and delivery platforms, the companies announced.
Motional’s autonomous vehicles will ferry both passengers and delivery items for Uber and its Uber Eats division, with trips expected to start later this year. The deal isn’t exclusive: Motional also operates an autonomous taxi service in Las Vegas with Uber’s main competitor Lyft, while Uber has a 10-year deal with Nuro to use the company’s driverless delivery pods in California and Texas. (Uber also has a delivery pilot underway with Motional in Santa Monica.)
But the Uber-Motional partnership has the appearance of being far larger and more ambitious than either of those projects.