Hyundai Motor Co. has moved up the start of its volume production of autonomous vehicles to 2024, around the time when Mercedes, BMW and other global automakers are expected to begin mass production of self-driving cars.
Hyundai Motor plans to introduce sophisticated autonomous driving technology that can be used on all courses, not autonomous driving which can be used only on simple courses based on current deep learning technology.
Jang Woong-jun, director of the Hyundai Motor Group’s Autonomous Driving Technology Center disclosed the plan in the 14th Future Vehicle Technology Contest: 2019 Autonomous Driving Vehicle Competition for College Students, which was held at K-City, an autonomous driving test city, on July 10.
"Due to the complexity of self-driving technology, global IT companies and automakers are delaying their production schedules for self-driving cars,” Jang said. "Hyundai Motor is also preparing to start mass production of cars that can drive themselves in 2024."
An autonomous driving car under development at Hyundai is a connected autonomous vehicle that uses vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communications. V2X communications can instantly convey various types of information to vehicles. "We have already reached Level 3 in autonomous driving," Jang said. "We will focus on the development of the advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) as we have much time before unveiling Level 4 or 5 autonomous driving vehicles."
Hyundai Motor plans to load the second-generation ADAS into new cars to be launched in the second half. The second-generation ADAS enhances driving safety as it can automatically change lanes and help drivers respond defensively when trucks, buses and other commercial vehicles on the next lines are driven menacingly.
In particular, Hyundai Motor focuses on three elements in autonomous vehicle development -- technical maturity, mass-production, and materials cost. "We made much progress in technological maturity and mass production, but still have a long way to go in reducing materiald cost," Jang said. “To complement this point, we are preparing technology development and mass production by partnering with companies in the United States and Europe.”