Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors Corporation have invested in Aurora Innovation Inc. to accelerate development of autonomous vehicle technologies.
The move will strengthen the strategic partnership formed between the companies in 2018, under which Hyundai, Kia, and Aurora have been collaborating on self-driving technologies on Hyundai’s flagship fuel cell vehicle NEXO.
With the new investment, the companies have agreed to expand research to a wide range of models and to build an optimal platform for Hyundai and Kia’s autonomous vehicles.
“Aurora is the leading innovator of self-driving technology and we look forward to building a stronger collaborative partnership with them,” said Youngcho Chi, President and Chief Innovation Officer at Hyundai Motor Group. “Working closely with industry leaders around the world will help us develop fully self-driving vehicles that are safe and innovative for our customers.”
Since its establishment, Aurora has quickly secured its place as an industry leader in the development of self-driving technology. Its self-driving system, the Aurora Driver, comprises the lidar, radar, and cameras that perceive the world around it and the computer that runs the software modules, enabling it to make sense of the world and plan a safe path through it. With the integration of the Aurora Driver, Hyundai and Kia vehicles will enhance their ability to monitor, react, and adapt to different surroundings.
“We are pleased with the progress made with the Hyundai and Kia teams,” said Sterling Anderson, Co-founder and Chief Product Officer of Aurora. “Together with all of our ecosystem partners, we are seeing the convergence of a powerful platform that will deliver the benefits of self-driving technology safely, quickly, and broadly.”
Hyundai and Kia’s partnership with Aurora is part of the Group’s ongoing efforts to lead the autonomous driving domain. In 2017, Hyundai’s IONIQ successfully demonstrated autonomous driving technologies in urban environments in Las Vegas at CES. Hyundai also presented a fleet of autonomous vehicles equipped with Level 4 technologies at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games.
Hyundai Motor Group’s future mobility plans include commercialization of Level 4 autonomous vehicles by 2021 with the pilot launch of a fleet of autonomous robo-taxis in smart cities. By overcoming current limitations on automobiles and drivers, the Group will enrich the lives of its customers and deliver true ‘Freedom in Mobility.’