Hyundai to develop Level 4 autonomous vehicles by 2021

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Autonomous Hyundai models are to be tested in pilot smart cities across the globe from early next decade.

Hyundai Ioniq Autonomous Concept

Hyundai Ioniq Autonomous Concept

The carmaker is partnering with US self-driving technology start-up Aurora to develop Level 4 autonomous vehicles – which provide a high but not full level of autonomy – by 2021.

The partnership will incorporate Aurora’s self-driving technology into Hyundai vehicles starting with models custom-developed and launched in test programs and pilot cities.

The technology will debut on Hyundai’s latest new-generation fuel-cell vehicle, which will make its official global debut at CES 2018 next week. The carmaker said the fuel-cell powertrain will offer an ideal platform to implement autonomous driving technologies, which requires a massive amount of power to support the large amount of data communication as well as the operation of hardware such as sensors. Hyundai added: “Hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicle will be able to provide a stable electric power supply without concerns about driving range.”

Over the longer term, Hyundai and Aurora will work to commercialise self-driving vehicles worldwide.

“We know the future of transportation is autonomous, and autonomous driving technology needs to be proven in the real-world to accelerate deployment in a safe and scalable manner,” said Dr Woong Chul Yang, vice chairman of Hyundai Motor. “Combining our advanced vehicle technology that embeds the latest safety features with Aurora’s leading suite of Level 4 autonomous technology will advance this revolution in mobility with Hyundai in a leadership position.”

The Volkswagen Group has also announced that it’s working with Aurora to bring self-driving cars to “our roads quickly, broadly and safely”. Over the past six months, the two firms have been collaborating to integrate Aurora’s self-driving system in Volkswagen Group’s vehicle platforms.

The partnership will focus on bringing self-driving electric vehicles to cities as Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) fleets as well as covering rural areas.

Chief Digital Officer Johann Jungwirth said: “Working with Aurora will give us a giant leap forward in our mission to become the world’s leading provider of sustainable mobility, with self-driving vehicles. Our aim is to create new Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) solutions which customers will be really passionate about because they have been tailored to the human with highest safety standards, best-in-class user experience and digital intelligence. For me this is the reinvention of mobility and the automobile.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.