Hyundai to invest $35 billion in automotive tech
Hyundai Motor Group said on Oct. 15 that it plans to invest 41 trillion won ($34.65 billion) in mobility technology and strategic investments by 2025, as South Korea’s top automaker accelerates its attempts to catch up in the self-driving car race.
The plan, which Hyundai said encompassed autonomous, connected and electric vehicles, comes after the company and two of its affiliates announced an investment of $1.6 billion in a joint venture with U.S. self-driving tech firm Aptiv.
Hyundai’s plan also received a boost from the South Korean government, which said on Oct. 15 that it plans to spend 1.7 trillion won from 2021-27 to boost autonomous vehicle technology.
The government expects Hyundai to launch a nationwide service of fully autonomous cars to fleet customers in 2024 and the general public by 2027.
This push is part of a blueprint for future cars President Moon Jae-in announced at an event at Hyundai Motor’s research centre near Seoul.
The government said it was conducting a feasibility study for its proposed funding boost, which would include parts, systems and infrastructure. It said Korea lags behind in self-driving car software and key parts like sensors and chips, despite the country’s advanced, fifth-generation mobile data network.
South Korea also said it would prepare a regulatory and legal framework to ensure the safety of autonomous cars by 2024.
“We will actively transition from combustion-engine cars to future cars,” Industry Minister Sung Yoon-mo said at a media briefing on Oct. 15.
The government also aims to lay the technological and legal groundwork for the demonstration of flying cars in 2025. Hyundai Motor’s executive vice-chairman Euisun Chung has said the company is looking at developing flying cars, which could be commercialized ahead of the most advanced self-driving cars.