Hyundai Motor Group aims to start applying self-driving technology to finished vehicles around the end of 2020 and begin to mass produce self-driving cars in 2024, said the group’s executive vice chairman Chung Eui-sun in New York on Sept. 23 (local time).
“If our software solutions are excellent, other automakers will also be able to use them,” Chung was quoted as saying during a news conference with correspondents in New York at Philippe Chow in Manhattan.
Hyundai Motor Group announced on the day that it would invest US$2 billion to set up a joint venture with Aptive of the United States to commercialize self-driving technology.
When asked why he decided to set up a joint venture with Aptive, Chung said, “That is the only way we can provide our self-driving technology to other car makers.” Chung’s comment is interpreted as reflecting his intention to use the developed technology in various ways, such as selling it to other car manufacturers or share it, in the future.
Aptiv is one of the leading firms in automotive electrical components and self-driving technologies. It was spun off from Delphi Automotive in December 2017. The company ranks third in pure autonomous driving technology after Google’s Waymo and General Motors’ Cruise. Aptiv posted 15.90 trillion won (US$13.27 billion) in sales and 1.60 trillion won (US$1.34 billion) in operating profit last year, while its market cap came to 27.40 trillion won (US$22.86 billion).
Chung also said self-driving technology would perfectly match hydrogen powered electric cars, a field where Hyundai Motor Group has unrivaled technology. He said, “If autonomous vehicles go to the level 4 and 5, they consume a lot of electricity. So, there is a limit with the current electric vehicles. Hydrogen-fueled cars can drive for a long range, so they are more qualified for self-driving. Autonomous vehicles and hydrogen cars will be developed in mesh and hydrogen vehicles are a good platform for autonomous cars.”