Hyundai has partnered with autonomous technology start-up Aurora to develop Level 4 driverless vehicles that the Korean maker says it will roll out by 2021. It's the first time the brand has partnered with a third-party to develop the technology and follows in the footsteps of Fiat Chrysler which is working with Google company Waymo on its autonomous ambitions.
The Silicon Valley start-up was founded by ex-Google (Waymo) and Tesla employees and has also been working with Volkswagen for the past six months to incorporate its hardware, sensors and software into the German maker’s cars.
Hyundai will use Aurora’s driverless technology to feature a Level 4 capable system in its upcoming fuel cell vehicle (FCEV) that will debut at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week.
Level 4 autonomy is capable of full hands-free driving without any human input, and in some circumstances even observation, and is a significant step-up from any current autonomous systems.
The flourishing South Korean brand says it will pilot the first wave of driverless cars in select cities within three years which will most likely be areas already mapped with Lidar cameras such as Europe and the United States.
“Aurora is excited to partner with Hyundai Motor to make the social benefits of self-driving available globally,” said Chris Urmson, CEO of Aurora.
"This partnership combines Hyundai’s strengths in vehicle design, safety and manufacturing with Aurora’s expertise in self-driving technologies to make a positive difference in the world.”
Volkswagen also plans to commercialise the technology in ride sharing shuttles and delivery trucks and vans sometime in the future.
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