Global technology company Aptiv and Hyundai Motor Group have announced today that they are to form an autonomous driving joint venture.
The joint venture will advance the design, development and commercialisation of SAE Level 4 and 5 autonomous technologies, furthering the partners’ leadership position in the global autonomous driving ecosystem. The joint venture 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 in 2022.
As part of the agreement, Hyundai Motor Group and Aptiv will each have a 50 percent ownership stake in the joint venture, valued at a total of US$ 4 billion (Rs 28,368 crore). Aptiv will contribute its autonomous driving technology, intellectual property, and approximately 700 employees focused on the development of scalable autonomous driving solutions. Hyundai Motor Group affiliates — Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors and Hyundai Mobis — will collectively contribute US$ 1.6 billion (Rs 11,347 crore) in cash at closing and US$ 0.4 billion in vehicle engineering services, R&D resources, and access to intellectual property.
The partnership reinforces the companies’ shared vision of making mobility more safe, green, connected, and accessible by advancing the development and commercialisation of the highest-performing and safest autonomous vehicles.
“This partnership further strengthens Aptiv’s industry-leading capabilities in the development of advanced driver assistance systems, vehicle connectivity solutions, and Smart Vehicle Architecture,” said Kevin Clark, President and Chief Executive Officer, Aptiv. “Hyundai Motor Group’s cutting-edge engineering and R&D capabilities make them our partner of choice to advance the development of a production-ready autonomous platform.”
“The new joint venture marks the start of a journey with Aptiv toward our common goal of commercialising autonomous driving,” said Euisun Chung, Executive Vice Chairman, Hyundai Motor Group. “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.”
The new joint venture will be led by Karl Iagnemma, President, Aptiv Autonomous Mobility and headquartered in Boston, with technology centers across the United States and Asia, including Korea. Hyundai Motor Group and Aptiv will each appoint an equal number of directors to govern the joint venture.
The joint venture’s Korea operations will serve as a key technology center as well as a base for vehicle modification and a testbed for autonomous driving mobility service platforms. Hyundai Motor Group’s strong presence in the local automotive market and the country’s world-class 5G infrastructure are anticipated to spur the partnership’s development efforts.
Aptiv, which has a portfolio of advanced mobility solutions that includes perception systems, software algorithms, compute platforms, and data and power distribution, conducted the first coast-to-coast automated drive in the United States in 2015, and was the first to commercially deploy autonomous vehicles globally.
Aptiv operates more than 100 autonomous vehicles on multiple continents, across a range of driving conditions and environments, including the largest commercial deployment of autonomous vehicles in Las Vegas with a ride-hailing network. To date, the company has provided more than 70,000 paid autonomous rides, servicing more than 2,700 destinations, while maintaining a near perfect average passenger rating of 4.95-out-of-five stars.
Hyundai first began testing autonomous vehicles on public roads in the U.S. in 2015 with a license from the state of Nevada. During CES in 2017, Hyundai advanced its trials in urban environments, demonstrating self-driving technologies to the public with its autonomous Ioniq model. In February 2018, Hyundai successfully demonstrated Level 4 autonomous driving technology on a highway, as five NEXO fuel cell electric vehicles travelled 190km from Seoul to Pyeonchang without any driver engagement.
The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions and is expected to close early in the second quarter of 2020.