Motional, The Autonomous Vehicle Company, Announces Workforce Reduction


Motional, the autonomous vehicle company backed by Hyundai Motor Group and Aptiv, has revealed that it will be reducing its workforce by about 5%. This decision will result in the layoff of fewer than 70 employees, primarily impacting administrative roles and some staff in Boston, a key testing location for the company’s autonomous vehicles.

Key Takeaway

Motional, the autonomous vehicle company backed by Hyundai and Aptiv, is reducing its workforce by about 5%, primarily affecting non-technical roles. Despite financial challenges, the company remains focused on advancing its driverless services and forging commercial partnerships.

Details of the Workforce Reduction

The recent layoffs mark the second time that Motional has implemented such measures, with the previous instance occurring in December 2022 and affecting approximately 10% of its workforce, particularly in Pittsburgh, another important testing ground for its autonomous vehicles. The company has clarified that the latest reduction will mainly impact non-technical roles, as it aims to reallocate resources to areas that will directly contribute to its long-term commercial success.

Motional’s Operations and Future Plans

Despite the layoffs, Motional continues to operate an autonomous vehicle taxi service in Las Vegas, where human safety operators are still present behind the wheel. The company’s services are accessible through platforms such as Uber, Lyft, and Via. Additionally, it has been conducting an autonomous delivery pilot in Santa Monica, California, in collaboration with Uber Eats.

While confirming the layoffs, a Motional spokesperson emphasized the company’s commitment to hiring critical talent necessary for technology development and meeting commercial goals. They expressed confidence in the funding roadmap and the company’s preparedness for the next phase of commercialization. Motional’s focus remains on scaling its driverless services, expanding commercial partnerships, and advancing the development of its next-generation robotaxi in partnership with Kia.

Challenges and Future Prospects

The layoffs come in the wake of automotive supplier Aptiv’s decision to cease allocating capital toward the joint venture with Hyundai that created Motional. With Hyundai now serving as the sole backer, the company is exploring potential outside funding deals to support its endeavors. Despite financial challenges, Motional has made progress toward its goal of launching a robotaxi service using driverless Hyundai Ioniq 5 vehicles by 2024. The company has also announced plans to collaborate with Kia on a next-generation vehicle for future commercial operations.

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