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Hyundai Investing $35 Billion in Autonomous Driving, EVs & Connected Cars

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【Summary】​South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Group is investing billions in the development of electric vehicles, autonomous driving and connected car technology in a push to be more competitive as the auto industry moves towards electrification, autonomous driving and other mobility services.

FutureCar Staff    Oct 15, 2019 11:00 AM PT
Hyundai Investing $35 Billion in Autonomous Driving, EVs & Connected Cars
The fuel cell Hyundai Nexo SUV

South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Group is investing billions in the development of electric vehicles, autonomous driving and connected car technology in a push to be more competitive as the auto industry moves towards electrification, autonomous driving and other mobility services.

Reuters reported that the automaker plans to invest 41 trillion won ($35 billion) in mobility and other auto technologies by 2025. The massive investment is backed by the Korean government.

In a speech yesterday, South Korea's President Moon Jae-in declaring on Tuesday that the government is unveiling more funding for autonomous vehicle technology. President Jae-in expects self-driving cars to account for half of new cars on the country's roads by 2030.

In a 45-page report on future automotive technology, the government acknowledged South Korea lags in some key areas necessary for self-driving cars such artificial intelligence, sensors and logic chips.

"The self-driving market is a golden market to revitalize the economy and create new jobs," Moon said in his speech at Hyundai Motor's research center near Seoul.

The government will also encourage operators of buses and truck fleets to switch to electric and hydrogen vehicles. It will increase the number of EV charging stations to 15,000 locations by 2030 from the current 5,427, while hydrogen refueling spots will increase to 660 from 31, according to the statement.

Moon also predicted that electric and hydrogen-fueled vehicles will account for 33% of automobiles sold in 2030, compared with about 2.6% in 2019. 

The government intends to spend 1.7 trillion won between 2021 and 2027 on self-driving technology. It expects Hyundai to launch level 4, or fully autonomous, cars for fleet customers in 2024 and for the general public by 2027, an industry ministry official told Reuters.

South Korea's government said it would prepare a regulatory and legal framework for autonomous cars and the safety concerns surrounding the technology by 2024.

The massive investment plans includes autonomous vehicles, electric cars, connected vehicles and technology for ride-sharing and comes after the automaker and two of its affiliates announced an investment of $1.6 billion in a venture with U.S. self-driving tech firm Aptiv.

Last month, Hyundai and automotive supplier Aptiv announced that they will form an autonomous driving joint venture. As part of the agreement, Hyundai Motor Group and Aptiv will each have a 50 percent ownership stake in the joint venture, valued at $4 billion. 

"Hyundai has to buy technology from someone else because it lacks software technology. Even though it has a lot of cash, this could become a financial burden if its earnings deteriorate," Esther Yim, an analyst at Samsung Securities, said to Reuters.

In addition to self-driving cars, Hyundai plans to lay the technological and legal groundwork for demonstrations of flying cars by 2025. Hyundai Motor's executive vice chairman Euisun Chung said last month that the company is looking at developing electric vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft.

Hyundai has also received much government backing for hydrogen fuel cell cars, with Moon calling hydrogen power the "future bread and butter" and declaring himself an ambassador for the technology.

Hyundai current offers the hydrogen-powered Nexo Fuel Cell in California. The Nexo is the world's first dedicated hydrogen-powered SUV, offering a 380 miles range using only hydrogen to generate electricity to power the vehicle.


resource from: Reuters

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