Hyundai·Kia to Establish Intelligent Safety Technology Center for Self-Driving Cars

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Hyundai Motor Company has newly established a R&D task force for its self-driving cars and is looking to hire experts in this field. Its plan is to develop platforms for self-driving cars that can be applied globally by accelerating its process in development of self-driving cars and lead in establishing global standards.

Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors made an announcement on the 13th that it has newly established ‘Intelligent Safety Technology Center’ that combines development groups and their employees for self-driving technologies within R&D headquarters and hired Professor Lee Jin-woo, who had been in leading people from GM in development of self-driving cars, as the director of this center.

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By combining a group that was responsible for current high-tech safety technologies and a group that has been researching on self-driving technologies, Hyundai Motor Company has elevated status of this group to a ‘center’ level. Hyundai Motor Company is trying to speed up its process in development of self-driving cars by establishing consistent development system and maximize synergy between sectors.

This center will be responsible for basic preceding technologies that are related to self-driving technologies and entire researches such as testing, evaluation, and application of technologies to actual vehicles that are related to self-driving technologies. It is also going to work on enhancing high-tech driver safety technologies such as Smart Cruise Control that is currently being mass-produced, lane departure prevention device, and highway drive support system and carry out researches on major self-driving technologies that are based on artificial intelligence. It is also going to actively push for development of self-driving platforms that can be applied to any roads in the world. All of these researches are going to be part of Hyundai Motor Company’s plan to grab an upper hand in markets for future self-driving cars.

Above picture shows Hyundai Motor Company demonstrating its IONIQ-based self-driving car driving through Las Vegas during CES in last January.

Above picture shows Hyundai Motor Company demonstrating its IONIQ-based self-driving car driving through Las Vegas during CES in last January.

Hyundai Motor Company has hired Professor Lee Jin-woo, who used to work for GM in development and mass-production of preceding self-driving technologies since the beginning, as the director of this center.

Director Lee had gone through masters and Ph.D. degrees from Seoul National University’s Mechanical Engineering Department and KAIST’s (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology) dynamics control field and had carried out projects on self-driving technologies and robots since 2001 as a research professor from Cornell University. After 2006, he was in charge of developing self-driving cars for GM.

Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors are expecting that Director Lee Jin-woo, who has accumulated major abilities as a global expert in self-driving technologies since beginning period of self-driving technologies and for more than 15 years, will actively push for establishment of direction of self-driving technologies and enhanced strategies.

“Rather than simply developing self-driving cars, we are going to develop platforms for self-driving technologies that can be applied globally and have Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors have the leadership role in standardizing self-driving technologies internationally.” said Director Lee Jin-woo.

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Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors announced that they are making investments with a goal of developing world’s best and perfect self-driving cars. They obtained licenses to test their Tucson Fuel Cell and a self-driving car called IONIQ from Nevada in December of 2015 and October of 2016 respectively. They also obtained licenses to test their self-driving cars from South Korean Government in March of 2016 and have been carrying out tests. During CES, which was held in the U.S. in last month, they succeeded in demonstrating IONIQ-based self-driving car within Las Vegas.

A market research company called Juniper Research predicts that about 2.2 million self-driving cars will be supplied globally until 2025.

Staff Reporter Mun, Bokyeong | okmun@etnews.com

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