South Korea: Hyundai tests L4 autonomous driving on NEXO fuel cell EV

 

 

A fleet of Hyundai Motor Company’s next generation fuel cell electric cars have succeeded in completing a self-driven 190 kilometers journey from Seoul to Pyeongchang. This is the first time in the world that level 4 autonomous driving has been achieved with fuel cell electric cars, the ultimate eco-friendly vehicles.

Until now, autonomous driving has been demonstrated at a limited speed on some sections of domestic roads, but this is the first time autonomous cars have driven such a long distance at 100 km/h-110 km/h, the maximum speed allowed by law on Korean highways.

Five Hyundai vehicles completed the journey. Three vehicles are based on Hyundai’s next-generation fuel cell electric SUV NEXO, scheduled to be released in Korea next month, and the other two are Genesis G80 autonomous vehicles. All vehicles are equipped with level 4 self-driving technology, as defined by the SAE international standards, and 5G network technology.

The demonstration started in Seoul on Feb. 2 with the ‘CRUISE’ and ‘SET’ buttons being pressed on the autonomous-driving steering wheel of each vehicle, at which point the cars immediately switched to self-driving mode and began the 190 km journey to Pyeongchang. Entering the highway, the vehicles moved in response to the natural flow of traffic. They executed lane changes and overtaking maneuvers, and navigated toll gates using Hi-pass, South-Korea’s wireless expressway payment system.

The exterior and interior of self-driving vehicles used for this demonstration look similar to Hyundai’s other mass-produced models, but they are installed with various cameras and LIDARs. Adding a small number of sensors to mass produced vehicles has enabled the realization of fully autonomous driving technology, and thus brings the company a step closer to the commercialization of self-driving technology.

Hyundai Motor Group, which includes flagship units Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors, is preparing for the commercialization of the SAE standard Level 4 compliant autonomous-driving system in smart cities by 2021. To this end, the company announced plans at CES 2018 last month to jointly develop self-driving technology with Aurora Innovation, a U.S. based autonomous driving startup.

Hyundai also plans to commercialize the technology for fully autonomous driving by 2030.

Furthermore, since August last year, Hyundai has been researching and building its V2X infrastructure. As a founding member of the American Center for Mobility, an American research institute for future mobility, Hyundai Motor Group last October invested 5 million dollars in the ACM-led construction of state-of-the-art testing facilities.

Source: Hyundai