Motional and Via have launched a new robotaxi service offering free self-driving rides to passengers in downtown Las Vegas. The partnership signifies the first step in Motional and Via’s long-term vision to introduce networks of on-demand and shared robotaxis — with the ultimate goal of using autonomous vehicles (AVs) to “expand the public’s access to safe, affordable and sustainable transportation options”.

The service combines Via’s booking and routing app with Motional’s self-driving robotaxis, fleet management and in-vehicle passenger experience.

“At Via, we believe on-demand autonomous vehicles can play a huge role in expanding access to efficient, sustainable and cost-effective transportation in our cities,” said Cariann Chan, senior vice president of business, Via. “We are proud that our partnership with Motional will achieve this goal through connecting Las Vegas riders with essential destinations and transit hubs.”

Motional and Via in 2020 announced their partnership to develop robotaxis as part of large-scale transit networks. Motional and Via consider autonomous vehicles “as part of a connected transportation ecosystem”, and believe “this type of integration is critical to sustainable, inclusive mobility”.

Abe Ghabra, COO, Motional says, “Motional is a leader in operating commercial robotaxi services and we’re excited to continue that legacy with Via. Our partnership offers a new channel for members of the public to experience safe and convenient self-driving rides, with a focus on effectively integrating Motional’s robotaxis with existing transit networks. We look forward to learning from this service and growing our collaboration with Via.”

The service operates 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday to Friday, and will provide pick-ups and drop-offs at key locations in downtown Las Vegas. Riders can download the Via app for more information and to book a ride.