Hyundai, Aurora to release autonomous cars by 2021

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Hyundai and Volkswagen are hoping Google’s former driverless car boss will help them roll out self-driving vehicles on the roads by 2021. 

Chris Urmson, who now heads up start-up Aurora, will work with the two car manufacturers to develop the technology.

The partnerships are the latest in a string of tie-ups between traditional auto companies and tech firms as they race to be first with self-driving vehicles. 

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Hyundai will begin selling its first self-driving vehicles by 2021 in partnership with US based self-driving technology startup Aurora Innovation, which was founded by a former chief technology officer at Google's self-driving car unit Chris Urmson (pictured) 

Hyundai will begin selling its first self-driving vehicles by 2021 in partnership with US based self-driving technology startup Aurora Innovation, which was founded by a former chief technology officer at Google’s self-driving car unit Chris Urmson (pictured) 

SELF-DRIVING CARS

Hyundai and Aurora, led by Chris Urmson, the former head of Google’s autonomous car team, will bring autonomous vehicles to markets that can operate without human input in most conditions.

The auto industry designates that as ‘level 4 autonomous driving,’ just one stage short of fully autonomous driving.

Level 4 automation means the car will deal with most ‘dynamic driving tasks’ alone but the driver may intervene in extreme circumstances, such as in case of poor weather. 

General Motors said in November that its self-driving vehicles will carry passengers and deliver goods in big cities by 2019. 

The companies are hoping to develop Level 4 automation as part of separate agreements. 

This means the cars will deal with most ‘dynamic driving tasks’ alone but the driver may intervene in extreme circumstances, such as in case of poor weather. 

It is unknown how its first batch of self-driving vehicles will be used.

By 2020, Volkswagen says it hopes to have thousands of vehicles being tested, according to chief digital officer Johann Jungwirth.  

Analysts expect they will likely be for commercial use, such as self-driving taxis or ride-hailing services, rather than for sales to individual consumers. 

According to the Verge, the partnership with VW Group is currently ahead of the one with Hyundai. 

For the past 12 months, Aurora engineers have been working with VW Group to integrate the startup’s software and sensors into the auto giant’s vehicles at its Future Center in Silicon Valley.

Hyundai also said that it will reveal a hydrogen-powered fuel-cell vehicle next week.

The company says the new vehicle will be able to provide ‘a stable electric power supply without concerns about driving range.’

General Motors said in November that its self-driving vehicles will carry passengers and deliver goods in big cities by 2019.

Aurora was founded by Mr Urmson as well as a former Tesla Autopilot director and a former self-driving engineer at Uber.

The company develops hardware, software and data services to create autonomous driving platforms.

Last year it became the 37th company to have a permit to test autonomous vehicles in California. 

Pictured is a concept self-driving car by Volkswagen.  For the past 12 months, Aurora engineers have been working with VW Group to integrate the startup’s software and sensors into the auto giant’s vehicles at its Future Center in Silicon Valley

Pictured is a concept self-driving car by Volkswagen.  For the past 12 months, Aurora engineers have been working with VW Group to integrate the startup’s software and sensors into the auto giant’s vehicles at its Future Center in Silicon Valley

Pictured is a concept self-driving car by Volkswagen.  For the past 12 months, Aurora engineers have been working with VW Group to integrate the startup’s software and sensors into the auto giant’s vehicles at its Future Center in Silicon Valley

Hyundai has been pursuing partnerships to keep pace with changes in an industry that is being transformed by artificial intelligence, autonomous driving and other cutting edge-technologies

Hyundai has been pursuing partnerships to keep pace with changes in an industry that is being transformed by artificial intelligence, autonomous driving and other cutting edge-technologies

Hyundai has been pursuing partnerships to keep pace with changes in an industry that is being transformed by artificial intelligence, autonomous driving and other cutting edge-technologies

AURORA INNOVATION

Aurora is led by Chris Urmson, the former head of Google’s autonomous car team.

It was founded by Mr Urmson as well as a former Tesla Autopilot director and a former self-driving engineer at Uber.

The company develops hardware, software and data services to create autonomous driving platforms.

Last year it became the 37th company to have a permit to test autonomous vehicles in California. 

Hyundai has been pursuing partnerships to keep pace with changes in an industry that is being transformed by artificial intelligence, autonomous driving and other cutting edge-technologies. 

It earlier joined with Cisco Systems and Baidu to collaborate on internet-connected cars. 

It has also set up a $45 million (£33 million) fund with South Korea’s SK Telecom and Hanwha Asset Management to invest in artificial intelligence startups worldwide.

The South Korean automaker plans to share more details of its project with Aurora during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week, where it will also unveil the brand name of a new fuel-cell SUV that will be tested for self-driving technology.

The company plans to show off some of its autonomous driving cars during the Winter Olympics Game next month in Pyeongchang, South Korea.





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