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South Korea Aiming to Complete Infrastructure for Level 4 Autonomous Driving within Five Years
Hyundai Motor Group to Invest 40 Tril. Won in Future Cars
South Korea Aiming to Complete Infrastructure for Level 4 Autonomous Driving within Five Years
  • By Jung Min-hee
  • October 16, 2019, 08:56
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South Korean President Moon Jae-in (left) talks with Hyundai Motor Group executive vice chairman Chung Eui-sun at the group’s Namyang R&D Center on Oct. 15.

The South Korean government plans to complete the communications, road and traffic infrastructures required for completely autonomous driving by 2024 and put level 4 autonomous driving to commercial use on major roads nationwide in 2027 instead of 2030.

In addition, the government is going to promote the use of hydrogen and electric vehicles so that they can account for more than 30 percent of newly purchased cars in South Korea in 2030.

These plans were included in the Korean government's vision for the future car industry, which was unveiled on Oct. 15. 

In line with the vision, Hyundai Motor Group is planning to invest 40 trillion won in the future car industry and the government is going to support the group with regard to deregulation, tax benefits, engineer training and automotive electronic component development.

The plans were unveiled at a declaration ceremony in the group’s Namyang R&D Center located in Hwaseong City, Gyeonggi Province. The ceremony was presided over by President Moon Jae-in, and he said that South Korea already proved its excellence in hydrogen and electric vehicle technologies, sold more hydrogen cars than any other country in the world this year, and is the best in the world in terms of battery, semiconductor and information and communications technologies as future vehicles’ key elements. “We can lead the development of autonomous driving and take the lead in the global future car market by combining those achievements with our mobile telecom networks, which are the fastest in the world,” he said.

According to the plans, the government is going to boost the ratio of newly purchased hydrogen and electric vehicles to all newly purchased cars from 2.6 percent to 33 percent by 2030, account for at least 10 percent of the global hydrogen and electric vehicle market, and realize the world’s first level 4 autonomous driving, which is complete self-driving, on major roads across the country by 2027. System and infrastructure establishment to that end is going to be completed in 2024 and an open future car industry ecosystem will be established by 2030 based on a private-sector investment of 60 trillion won, including two-thirds from Hyundai Motor Group.

The government is aiming to put complete self-driving to commercial use three years ahead of schedule by working on level 3 and level 4 at the same time. Related systems such as vehicle performance evaluation and insurance systems will be introduced by 2024 while telecom, traffic control and road infrastructures are prepared along with precise maps. The government is currently conducting preliminary feasibility studies for its level 4 self-driving project to be underway from 2021 to 2027 and will launch a flying car demonstration project in 2025.

The future car industry is characterized by an ecosystem completely different from that of the traditional automotive industry. In this regard, the government will increase the ratio of automotive electronics companies to all auto parts companies to at least 20 percent by 2030 so that the ecosystem shift can be smooth. In addition, South Korea’s degree of independence in terms of key materials and parts required for future cars will be raised from 50 percent to 80 percent and the government is going to supply at least two trillion won for the purpose while helping training 2,000 researchers and engineers by 2025.

Hyundai Motor Group launched the Hyundai Developers portal at the declaration ceremony. The open platform developer portal is to provide data on vehicle specifications and conditions, driving, and the like via millions of connected cars and repair and maintenance networks so that startups’ and small firms’ future mobility service, software and product development can be facilitated.

The group announced its own future car development road map, too. “We will release 23 models of electric vehicles until 2025 by investing 41 trillion won for mobility technology development,” said Hyundai Motor Group executive vice chairman Chung Eui-sun, adding, “This is to turn ourselves into a smart mobility solution company providing novel experiences for customers.”