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Hyundai Motor and Aurora partner to develop Level 4 autonomous vehicles by 2021; new autonomous features on next-gen fuel cell vehicle

Hyundai Motor Company and Aurora Innovation, an autonomous vehicle technology startup (earlier post), announced a strategic partnership to bring self-driving Hyundai vehicles to market by 2021. 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 commercialize self-driving vehicles worldwide.

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.

Hyundai first began testing autonomous vehicles on US public roads 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 utilized 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. The hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicle will be able to provide a stable electric power supply without concerns about driving range, Hyundai said.

“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. 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.

—Dr. Woong Chul Yang, Vice Chairman of Hyundai Motor

For the last two decades, Aurora’s founders have spearheaded the self-driving revolution, building teams and pioneering modern machine learning techniques now on the cusp of transforming transportation.



It is amazing how quickly Hyundai is progressing with electrified (EVs and FCEVs) ADVs and this JV will further advance it's leadership?

Wise to concentrate on their excellent all weather extended range FCEVs to test their near future ADV equipment and technologies.

With a few more local H2 stations being built, an Hyundai FCEV/ADV could be one of our future purchase.


This is the first mention I have come across about the high power draw of the autonomous suite.

Don't get in your autonomous BEV in the cold!


It seems that FCEVs can operate with less energy lost (more efficiently) in very cold weather (down to -30C) and can supply more free heat for driver and passengers and more range between refills.

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