Hyundai Motor Group along with a top-tier automotive technology firm, Aptiv, will set up a joint venture for self-driving cars.
The world’s No. 5 automotive maker will take a 50% stake for the joint venture valued at $4 billion. Hyundai Motor Group will expend a total of $2 billion comprised of $1.6 billion in cash and $400 million for other types of investments.
Hyundai Motor Group and Aptiv held a signing ceremony in New York for the deal to mutually develop autonomous driving technologies. Top managements of both parties attended the ceremony.
Chung Euisun said, “The joint venture will be a big moment for the journey to commercialize self-driving technologies, which will change human lives.” Chung Eui-sun is the Executive Vice Chairman of Hyundai Motor Group and “heir apparent” of chairman Chung Mong-koo. He added, “The two companies’ respective expertise will create strong synergy and lead the global ecosystem of autonomous driving.”
Hyundai and Aptiv will share an equal number of board seats for the joint venture in 2020 in Boston. An autonomous driving platform and software developed through the joint venture will be provided to complete car makers and robo-taxi operators by 2022. It will perform at a Level 4 or 5 automated driving requiring less attention from the driver.
If all goes according to plan, it will give Hyundai Motors and Kia Motors an enormous competitive advantage in the future of the mobility market. The joint venture will prioritize the two companies in commercializing the technologies based on Hyundai and Kia cars.
Aptiv currently runs pilot robo-taxi projects across Singapore and Las Vegas. The firm is one of the leading companies in automated driving technologies. In last year’s Consumer Electric Show held in Las Vegas, Aptiv attracted a favorable response from industry officials as it was the only company to execute robo-taxi test runs during rainy conditions.
After the establishment of the joint venture, Hyundai Motors said the collaboration would also run research bases in Korea. This is to nurture domestic experts in technologies for self-driving automobiles.
Hyundai Motor Group has made investments in multiple startups producing radars and AI software. The group has also been engaging in a series of partnerships with tech giants for automated driving technologies. In cooperation with Nvidia and Intel, it has been producing artificial intelligence (AI) control unit and sensors. It has also participated in the Apollo self-driving car project led by Baidu, a Chinese technology firm specializing in Internet-related services and products and artificial intelligence.
Hyundai Mobis, the group’s auto parts unit located in South Korea, revealed in July a self-driving platform co-developed with Russia’s Yandex. The unit also announces that it will operate pilot robo-taxi projects across Russia.
“The global race for self-driving technologies hinges on who has the most partners and collects more driving data,” a Hyundai Motor Group official said. “With the joint venture, the group now has a boost in developing a self-driving platform optimal for Hyundai and Kia vehicles.”