SEOUL, Jun. 13 (Korea Bizwire) — Hyundai Motor Group said Thursday it has invested in U.S. self-driving car startup Aurora Innovation to enhance its autonomous vehicle technologies.
In the partnership, the South Korean auto group will jointly develop autonomous vehicle technologies in order to come up with an optimal self-driving platform for models produced by Hyundai Motor Co. and affiliate Kia Motors Corp., it said in a statement.
The company didn’t provide the value of the investment, however.
“Hyundai and Aurora plan to commercialize Level 4 driverless car technologies in smart cities by 2021, initially using Hyundai’s Nexo hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicle,” the statement said.
In a Level 4 car, there is no need for the driver to take control, as the vehicle is designed to perform all safety-critical driving functions and monitor road conditions, according to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Hyundai has developed Level 2 technology, in which the driver can initiate a lane change on the highway, as well as exit and join highways, by turning on the indicator light.
A Level 3 car, if fully developed, would allow lane changes and other autonomous driving functions to work without intervention by the driver. Level 1 was intended to keep a vehicle in its lane and effectively help protect the driver from the often serious consequences of a lack of attention or a moment of micro-sleep.