Hyundai to develop driverless cars with Aptiv in US$1.6-billion deal

Companies looking to test autonomous vehicle software by 2020, put robotaxi on roads by 2022

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Hyundai will spend US$1.6 billion to develop autonomous vehicles with Aptiv, marking one of the biggest investments yet by a traditional carmaker into the burgeoning robocar industry.

Aptiv will take a 50-per-cent stake in the venture, while Hyundai Motor Co., Hyundai Mobis Co. and Kia Motors Corp. will contribute a combined US$1.6 billion in cash and US$400 million in areas including research and development, valuing Aptiv at $4 billion, the automaker said in a statement Monday.

The venture will begin testing fully driverless systems in 2020 and have a production-ready autonomous driving platform available for robotaxi providers, fleet operators and manufacturers in 2022, the statements said.

Hyundai Motor and its affiliate Kia aim to commercialize autonomous vehicles in some cities from 2021 and have a goal of launching fully driverless vehicles by 2030.

South Korea’s automakers and global rivals are investing heavily to develop new models and technologies for electrified and autonomous vehicles.

Under the agreement, Hyundai will contribute engineering services, research and development resources and access to intellectual property, while Aptiv will provide autonomous driving technology and about 700 employees. The companies will appoint an equal number of directors in the venture, which will be based in Boston and led by Karl Iagnemma as president.

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