Hyundai & Aptiv Form $4B Autonomous Driving Joint Venture
【Summary】Hyundai Motor Group and automotive technology company Aptiv announced today that they will form an autonomous driving joint venture. The new joint venture is the latest partnership between an automaker and a tech company, as automakers race to develop self-driving vehicles and other mobility services.
Hyundai Motor Group and automotive technology company Aptiv announced today that they will form an autonomous driving joint venture. The new joint venture is the latest partnership between an automaker and a tech company, as automakers race to develop self-driving vehicles and other mobility services.
The joint venture between the two companies will advance the development and commercialization of SAE Level 4 and 5 autonomous technologies. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) classifies level-4 as "fully autonomous", meaning that the autonomous systems can handle most driving situations without any human intervention.
As part of the agreement, Hyundai Motor Group and Aptiv will each have a 50 percent ownership stake in the joint venture, which will be valued at $4 billion. Hyundai Motor Group will invest $1.6 billion in cash upon closing of the deal closing and another $400 million in vehicle engineering services, R&D resources and access to intellectual property.
Aptiv will contribute its autonomous driving technology, intellectual property, and approximately 700 employees focused on the development of scalable autonomous driving solutions.
The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2020.
The new joint venture will be led by Karl Iagnemma, President, Aptiv Autonomous Mobility division, which is headquartered in Boston. The companies plan to open other technology centers across the United States and Asia.
The joint venture's Korea operations will serve as a base for vehicle modification and a test site for autonomous driving mobility service platforms. The country's robust 5G infrastructure is anticipated to help support the partnership's development efforts, especially with connected vehicle technologies known as vehicle to vehicle (V2V) and vehicle to infrastructure (V2I) that rely on low-latency 5G communication speeds.
"The new joint venture marks the start of a journey with Aptiv toward our common goal of commercializing autonomous driving," said Euisun Chung, Executive Vice Chairman, Hyundai Motor Group in a statement. "The combined capabilities of Aptiv, a leading global technology company, and our Group, a global OEM, will create invaluable synergy to lead the autonomous driving landscape."
Hyundai first successfully demonstrated its level-4 autonomous driving technology in Feb 2018, when five NEXO fuel cell electric vehicles travelled 190 kilometers from Seoul to Pyeongchang in South Korea without any driver engagement.
Formerly known as Delphi Automotive, Aptiv emerged from Delphi's spin-off of its powertrain division in Dec 2017. Aptiv's portfolio includes includes perception systems, software algorithms, computing platforms, and data distribution. Aptiv has acquired several promising startups over the past few years.
In Aug 2015, Aptiv acquired Ottomatika, a Carnegie Mellon University spinoff company that provides software and systems development for self-driving vehicles. At the time, Ottomatika was developing software that acts as the brain powering a network of sensor technology for autonomous vehicles.
In Jan 2017, Aptive acquired Movimento, a company specializing in secure over-the-air software updates for vehicles. Nine months later Aptiv acquired MIT spinoff NuTonomy for $400 million, a software startup developing vehicle-to-passenger information systems for a commercial robo-taxi service.
Aptiv has been testing its autonomous driving technology on public roads since 2018 in a partnership with ride-hailing company Lyft in Las Vegas. The pilot is one of largest commercial deployment of autonomous vehicles in a ride-hailing network.
Since launching the pilot program in Las Vegas, Aptive and Lyft provided more than 70,000 paid autonomous rides.
In March of this year, Aptiv opened it massive autonomous driving dataset to help developers improve the safety of autonomous vehicles.
In April 2015, Aptiv announced it completed one of the longest autonomous driving trips ever, traveling coast to coast across the U.S. from San Francisco to New York City. Aptiv said that 99% of the trip was completed without human intervention.
Hyundai and Aptiv said they will begin testing fully driverless systems in 2020 and have a production-ready autonomous driving platform available for robotaxi providers, fleet operators, and automotive manufacturers by 2022.
Originally hailing from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry here in Silicon Valley. He has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology.
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