Image via Hyundai Motor

Korean automaker bets on autonomous vehicle techs

Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors have been criticized as being late in developing autonomous vehicle technologies, which are expected to become mainstream in the not-so-distant future.

But The two Korean automakers are speeding up its involvement in the futuristic technologies through collaboration with a U.S. outfit.

Hyundai and Kia said June 13 that they have invested in Aurora Innovation, a self-driving vehicle startup, to accelerate the development of self-driving technologies. But they did not disclose the exact investment amount.

With the new investment, the two sides have agreed to expand research to a wide range of models and to build an optimal platform for Hyundai and Kia’s self-driving cars.

Aurora is the leading innovator of self-driving technology, and we look forward to building a stronger collaborative partnership with them,” Hyundai’s Chief Innovation Officer Chi Young-cho said.

Working closely with industry leaders around the world will help us develop fully self-driving vehicles that are safe and innovative for our customers.”

With regard to self-driving technologies, Aurora has secured its place as a powerhouse because it is developing self-driving programs from soup to nuts.

We are pleased with the progress made with the Hyundai and Kia teams,” Aurora co-founder Sterling Anderson said.

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.”

In fact, Hyundai has put forth great efforts to develop autonomous driving technologies. In 2018, the Seoul-based company demonstrated autonomous vehicles in time with the Winter Olympic Games.

The automaker strives to commercialize Level 4 autonomous vehicles by 2010 with the pilot launch of a fleet of autonomous robo-taxis in smart cities.

It remains to be seen how well the company will be able to compete with global powerhouses, which bet all on driver-less vehicle technologies.