Hyundai JV Promises Robo-Taxi By 2022

Hyundai’s latest joint venture could accelerate plans in autonomous vehicle technology as it hopes to launch a robo-taxi vehicle within three years.

The carmaker has signed an agreement with connected car supplier Aptiv to advance the design, development and commercialization of SAE Level 4 and Level 5 autonomous technologies. The joint venture will begin testing driverless systems in 2020 and hope to have a production-ready autonomous driving platform available for robo-taxi providers, fleet operators, and automotive manufacturers in 2022. The agreement is a 50% partnership valued at $4Bn.

Aptiv will contribute its autonomous driving technology, intellectual property and approximately 700 employees focused on the development of commercial autonomous solutions. At the same time, affiliates of the Hyundai Motor Group – Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors and Hyundai Mobis – will contribute $1.6Bn in cash and $400M in vehicle engineering services, research and development resources and access to intellectual property.

The joint venture’s Korea operations will serve as a key technology center as well as a base for vehicle modification and a testbed for autonomous driving mobility service platforms. Hyundai Motor Group’s strong presence in the local automotive market and the country’s world-class 5G infrastructure are anticipated to spur the partnership’s development efforts.

Euisun Chung, executive vice-chairman, of Hyundai, said: “The new joint venture marks the start of a journey with Aptiv toward our common goal of commercializing autonomous driving. The combined capabilities of Aptiv, a leading global technology company, and our group, a global OEM, will create invaluable synergy to lead the autonomous driving landscape.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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