Seoul, Feb 23: Motional, a joint venture between Hyundai Motor and Aptiv, said on Tuesday it has tested self-driving vehicles on public roads in the US, becoming one of the world's first companies to achieve Level 4 autonomy. The Boston-based company said it tested multiple autonomous vehicles with and without a safety operator in Las Vegas earlier this month. The testing was conducted less than three months after the state of Nevada approved the company's testing of its vehicles without a human safety driver. Hyundai Invests in Startup for Automated Vehicle Inspection System.

The testing "consisted of multiple driverless vehicles safely navigating intersections, unprotected turns and interactions with other road users, including pedestrians and cyclists," Motional said in a statement.

The company said it has accumulated 1.5 million miles of testing and a two-year safety evaluation process that took hundreds of employees more than 100,000 hours to complete and received an external review ahead of the testing, reports Yonhap news agency. Motional is one of a handful of companies that have deployed fully driverless vehicles, known as Level 4 autonomous vehicles, on public roads.

At Level 4, a vehicle can drive itself under limited conditions and will not operate if all required conditions are not satisfied. At Level 5, a vehicle's automated driving features can drive under any conditions. Motional said it will be able to launch a commercial robotaxi service on select routes by 2023 in partnership with the ride-sharing platform Lyft. In March 2020, South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor and global tech firm Aptiv formed the joint venture Motional to develop the autonomous driving technology.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Feb 23, 2021 10:36 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website