Hyundai Motor Company and autonomous vehicle technology firm Aurora have announced a strategic partnership to bring self-driving Hyundai vehicles to market by 2021.
The companies say this partnership will incorporate Aurora’s self-driving technology into Hyundai vehicles starting with models custom-developed and launched in test programs and pilot cities. Over the longer term, Hyundai and Aurora will work to commercialise self-driving vehicles worldwide.
In a statement they say that, to start, the partnership will focus on the ongoing development of hardware and software for automated and autonomous driving and the back-end data services required for Level 4 automation. Level 4 autonomous vehicles defined by SAE can operate without human input or oversight under select conditions. The goal of the partnership is to deploy autonomous driving quickly, broadly and safely.
“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.”
“Aurora is excited to partner with Hyundai Motor to make the social benefits of self-driving available globally,” said Dr. Chris Urmson, CEO of Aurora. “This partnership combines Hyundai’s strengths in vehicle design, safety and manufacturing with Aurora’s expertise in self-driving technologies to make a positive difference in the world.”
Hyundai says its partnership with Aurora is part of the company’s ongoing efforts towards realising fully autonomous driving. Hyundai first began testing autonomous vehicles on public roads of the USA in 2015, having been granted a license by the state of Nevada. Last year at the 2017 CES, Hyundai advanced its trials in urban environments, demonstrating self-driving technologies to the public with its autonomous IONIQ models.
Hyundai’s latest new-generation fuel-cell vehicle, which will make its official global debut at CES 2018 next week, will become the first model to be utilised in the test processes starting this year. 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. Hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicle will be able to provide a stable electric power supply without concerns about driving range.