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Hyundai, Aptiv Get Emotional with Self-Driving JV

Partners aim to launch robo-taxi applications by 2022
#Aptiv #Hyundai #Delphi


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The point of autonomous vehicles is to move people and/or goods from place to place—or, said another way, to put them in motion.

(Image: Motional)

The technology also will likely spark some sort of reaction (hopefully a positive one) from users—i.e., emotional.

The combination of the two words (motion + emotional) provides the basis for the name of Hyundai and Aptiv’s autonomous vehicle joint venture: Motional.

Selfie Targets

Announced last September, the previously unnamed 50:50 venture aims to have a production-ready autonomous driving platform available for robo-taxi providers, fleet operators and carmakers in 2022. Testing on Level 4/5 self-driving vehicles is due to start later this year.

Aptiv, which was spun off from Delphi three years ago, is contributing its autonomous driving technology. Hyundai is providing its vehicle engineering services and R&D resources.

Boston-based Motional also has offices in Pittsburgh, Las Vegas, Seoul, Southern California and Singapore. The company aims to grow its team by 45% this year.

COVID Effect

CEO Karl Iagnemma, who previously headed Aptiv’s Autonomous Mobility operations, believes the auto industry is at an inflection point for self-driving cars.

“What we’re building is more relevant than ever,” he asserts. “The pandemic has challenged the global community to re-think transportation, and governments and individuals want more and better options.”

A survey of U.S. drivers conducted last month by the joint venture supports the concept. Findings include:

  • Nearly one in five respondents say they are more interested in self-driving vehicles now than they were before the spread of the coronavirus
  • 70% say the risk of infection is a real concern impacting their transportation decisions
  • 69% say the coronavirus has changed how cities should be planned
  • More than half (54%) agree that AVs can help address mobility access challenges, and 62% said the technology is the wave of the future