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Hyundai Motor chief tests self-driving during US visit

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Seoul, June 16 (IANS) Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Euisun has visited an autonomous vehicle joint venture in the United States and tested a vehicle under development as the South Korean auto-making giant explores new business opportunities in future mobility solutions, the automaker said on Wednesday.

Chung tested a self-driving Ioniq 5 electric vehicle during his visit to Motional’s Boston headquarters and discussed ways to expand the partnership with its senior executives, Hyundai Motor said.

The chairman made his first visit to Motional since Hyundai Motor and U.S. mobility startup Aptiv formed a $4 billion joint venture in March 2020.

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Motional in February tested self-driving vehicles on public roads in Las Vegas, becoming one of the world’s first companies to achieve Level 4 autonomy.

At Level 4, a vehicle can drive itself under limited conditions and will not operate if all required conditions are not satisfied. At Level 5, a vehicle’s automated driving features can drive under any conditions.

Motional aims to launch a commercial robotaxi service on select U.S. routes by 2023 in partnership with the ride-sharing platform Lyft, and Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 has been on roads for testing, the automaker said.

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Chung also visited US robotics startup Boston Dynamics to discuss the latest robotics technology trends with its executives, Hyundai said.

In December, the world’s fifth-largest automotive group acquired an 80 percent stake in Boston Dynamics, which is famous for its dog-like robot Spot, for $1.1 billion to leverage its robotics technology in other industrial areas.

Hyundai Motor said it plans to create synergy between robotics, autonomous vehicles, urban air mobility and smart factories to provide various mobility services both in private and public sectors.

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Chung’s second U.S. visit this year shows his commitment to foster new growth drivers in the key market as the group announced plans to invest 8.1 trillion won in the U.S. by 2025 to expand its presence in EVs and the smart mobility solutions area.

–IANS

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