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Hyundai teams with Aurora for autonomous tech

What’s in a name: Although Hyundai’s new-generation hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle was revealed back in August, the South Korean brand will finally give it a name at next week’s CES in Las Vegas.

New fuel-cell EV to test self-driving systems as Hyundai teams with Aurora

5 Jan 2018

HYUNDAI Motor Company has partnered with self-driving technology experts Aurora to advance its autonomous vehicle systems, aiming to bring a Level 4-ready car into showrooms by 2021.

However, before the brand’s first self-driving vehicles can hit the market, Hyundai will first test the new technologies in a bespoke version of the already-revealed – but yet-to-be-named – new-generation hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicle (FCEV) that will be christened at next week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

The new hydrogen-powered SUV will also debut Hyundai’s next-generation Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS), as well as the artificial intelligence-driven Intelligent Personal Cockpit that can listen to voice commands and read occupants vital signs to tweak vehicle comfort settings.

According to Hyundai, “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”.

In announcing the team-up, both Hyundai and Aurora said the first hurdle to tackle would be the development of appropriate hardware and software to support Level 4 autonomous systems, as well as the back-end data processing and servicing required.

According to the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), Level 4 autonomy is defined as a vehicle that can operate without driver input under certain conditions.

Vehicles such as the Tesla Model S and incoming Audi A8 are capable of Level 3 autonomy, allowing hands-free driving in highway conditions, but still require the driver to be alert to take the wheel when required.

Hyundai Motor vice chairman Woon Chul Yang said the tie-up with Aurora would accelerate its self-driving vehicle ambitions.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

Hyundai is expected to begin testing the new autonomous technologies in pilot cities later this year.

At last year’s CES, Hyundai used a fleet of self-driving Ioniq vehicles to ferry participants around the show.

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