Hyundai has partnered with self-driving vehicle tech company Aurora to bring its own autonomous cars to market by 2021. The company also announced that its new fuel cell SUV, bound for CES, will be the first test vehicle for the project.

Both the partners will work on developing hardware and software for self-driving cars. The aim is for future vehicles to obtain Level 4 autonomy, which the SAE defines as being able to operate without any human mistakes under certain conditions.

This announcement will make Hyundai compete with several other auto manufacturers. Ford will launch self-driving cars for ride-hailing services by 2021, and BMW will launch its iNext autonomous vehicle that year.

Hyundai says the powertrain in its new fuel cell vehicle provides “an ideal platform” for autonomous technologies. Though self-driving cars require lots of power to support their data systems, Hyundai says the vehicle will be able to maintain a stable supply of electric power without unfavourably affecting range. The company will test the fuel cell vehicle equipped with autonomous technologies starting this year.

 After showcasing its near-production-ready concept last year, Hyundai will launch the final version of its new fuel cell SUV at the upcoming CES. Hyundai unveiled the new fuel cell SUV will comparatively provide 20 percent more power than its predecessor. It will also be able to perform better at start-up in cold temperatures and improved tank storage density now that there are three equally-sized tanks instead of two of different sizes.

 

At CES 2018, the company is also set to showcase a concept cockpit enhanced by AI. Other tech on display will be hydrogen-powered applications for the home, in honor of the fuel cell’s powertrain.

 

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