Hyundai Investing $5B in Autonomous Driving and Robotics
Hyundai Motor Group has confirmed a major $5 billion investment to support its work in robotics, AI technologies, advanced air mobility and autonomous driving capability.
The group, which sells cars under the Hyundai, Kia and Genesis brands, has made no secret of its bold intentions to become a dominant player in the world of mobility solutions, and the news is just the latest in a series of major announcements from the Korean auto giant.
Only last week, the company revealed it would spend $5.54 billion to build its first electric vehicle and battery manufacturing facilities in the United States at a site just outside Savannah in Bryan County, Georgia. It is scheduled to open in early 2025 and is slated to have an annual production capacity of 300,000 vehicles.
The Georgia plans were made public just days after Hyundai confirmed it would be building a huge new production hub for electric, autonomous Purpose-Built Vehicles within Kia’s existing Hwaseong manufacturing site in Gyeonggi Province in South Korea. Construction of that facility is set to start in the first half of next year, with commercial production planned to get underway in the second half of 2025.
The company provided a few clues as to where the latest investment is likely to go in a statement released to accompany the news.
Hyundai sees robotics as playing an essential role in smart mobility solutions and will invest in this area. Having acquired robotics developer Boston Dynamics in June 2021 in a deal valued at $1.1 billion, Hyundai says it’s committed to its growth and will expand its manufacturing capability and enhance its product range.
There will also be further investment in Boston self-driving company, Motional. Earlier this month, Motional confirmed that the autonomous Ioniq 5 robotaxi it is developing alongside Hyundai will be rolled out on Las Vegas roads as early as next year. The group says it is ready to make more funding available to accelerate the development of self-driving tech.
Additional investment in advanced air mobility (AAM) is probable, too. The group is developing technologies and infrastructure in advanced air mobility (AAM) and launched Washington D.C.-based Supernal last year to strengthen its capability in this sphere.
Supernal is working to integrate AAM into existing transit networks, with the ultimate vision for passengers to use a single app – like current rideshare platforms – to plan their journey. This could include taking a car or rail from home to an AAM “vertiport” – like the one Supernal helped create in Coventry in the English Midlands earlier this year – riding an eVTOL across town, and then using an e-scooter for the last mile.
The group also said it would invest further in artificial intelligence technologies.
Euisun Chung, executive chair of Hyundai Motor Group, announced the investment after meeting President Joe Biden in Seoul.
“The group will strengthen our partnership with US public and private entities to offer innovative products and mobility solutions to our valued customers in the U.S., while supporting global carbon neutrality efforts.”