Motional invests in Boston at Multimillion-dollar Seaport development, along with more Testing.
Motional has announced a significant expansion in Boston, the city is already home to the company corporate headquarters, operations hubs and a closed-course testing facility. To support the deployment of their Level 4 robotaxis starting in 2023, Motional has made a multimillion-dollar investment to expand their Seaport operations facility, including investments in increased R&D testing and new personnel.
The company say the core of the announced investment is the expansion of Motional’s operations facility at Black Falcon in the Boston seaport area. The expansion will double the size of Motional’s usable space in Black Falcon and triple the available occupancy.
The facility houses Motional’s Boston test fleet. It is also where their product engineers, user experience (UX), hardware, and software engineers conduct hands-on work with the vehicles to develop the safest and smartest Level 4 systems that will transport passengers around the world. As part of this work, the facility has virtual reality (VR) and UX labs, where Motional teams continually test and refine the passenger experience so that future passengers can enjoy comfortable and convenient, fully driverless rides.
With the added space, Motional is growing their local team. The company plans to add more than 100 new Boston-based positions over the next year, including new hires in engineering, product, and IT. This follows nearly two years of extensive hiring, during which Motional has grown the Boston team by over 30%.
Along with the expansion, the company will be increasing their testing on public roads around Boston. In 2016, Motional (formerly nuTonomy and Aptiv) became the first autonomous vehicle (AV) company to begin testing on public roads in Boston, and has since been testing in Boston longer than any other AV company. This next phase of testing will use Motional’s newly revealed robotaxi, the all-electric IONIQ 5-based robotaxi, which is the vehicle that they will be using in their fully driverless (with no one behind the wheel) public robotaxi service. That service will launch in 2023, starting in Las Vegas and then expanding to other markets.