Hyundai has partnered with autonomous vehicle tech company Aurora to bring self-driving vehicles to market by 2021. The automaker also announced that its new fuel cell SUV, bound for CES, will serve as the first test vehicle for the joint project.
The partners will work on developing hardware and software for autonomous vehicles. The goal is for future vehicles to achieve Level 4 autonomy, which the SAE defines as being able to operate without human oversight under certain conditions.
The announcement puts Hyundai in the game with a host of other automakers. Ford will introduce autonomous cars for ride-hailing services by 2021, and BMW is targeting that year for the launch of its iNext self-driving vehicle. Meanwhile, General Motors will introduce driverless cars for commercial purposes by 2019.
Hyundai says the powertrain in its new fuel cell vehicle offers “an ideal platform” for autonomous technologies. Although autonomous cars require lots of power to support their data systems, Hyundai says the vehicle will be able to maintain a stable supply of electric power without adversely affecting range. Hyundai will test the fuel cell vehicle equipped with autonomous technologies starting this year.
After showing a near-production-ready concept last year, Hyundai will unveil the final version of its new fuel cell SUV at CES. Hyundai revealed the new fuel cell SUV will offer 20 percent more power over its predecessor. It will also perform better at start-up in cold temperatures, and boasts improved tank storage density now that there are three equally-sized tanks instead of two of different sizes.
At CES, Hyundai will also show off a concept cockpit enhanced by artificial intelligence. Other technologies on display will be hydrogen-powered applications for the home, in honor of the fuel cell’s powertrain.
CES runs from January 9-12 in Las Vegas.
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