Hyundai Motor Group has joined forces with Aptiv in a $4 billion venture into the self-driving world. The Hyundai collective, which includes Kia Motors and Hyundai Mobis, will contribute over a billion dollars along with intellectual property, engineering, and research and development while the automated drive developers are providing its technology and close to 700 employees.
This alliance mirrors the current trends of many carmakers around the world. Teaming up with developers appears necessary in order to divvy up the large technical and financial loads of automated driving. In the case of Hyundai, this decision is especially significant due to its prior approach of developing its science solely in-house. It’s been considered that the company is looking to catch up with carmakers such as BMW, Toyota, and Fiat; self-driving announcements have already been made on their end, while Hyundai continues down a path of falling behind its competitors. Its alliance with Aptiv, a powerhouse supplier of automated technologies once known as Delphi Automotive, is a significant move on the road towards catching back up.
Hyundai has already tested the automated waters recently- its flagship vehicle, the NEXO, traveled 118 miles completely unassisted by human engagement during an investment round in 2018. The company has announced that completely automated driving system will start testing in 2020, and a platform will be ready for robo-taxis, carmakers ,and fleet operators in 2022. This particular $4 billion venture is a component of Hyundai Motors’ $12.3 billion investment projects that include car sharing and connectivity technologies that will be ready for use by 2023.
This collaborative enterprise will hold its headquarters in Boston, while its technology facilities will be placed throughout the United States and Asia.