Self-Driving Hyundai Secures Driving License in Vegas

See it in action as it takes the driving test and navigates local streets including the strip

Graham Hope

April 3, 2024

2 Min Read
Hyundai's Ioniq 5 robotaxi
Hyundai's Ioniq 5 robotaxiHyundai

Hyundai has released a video showing how its self-driving Ioniq 5 would be awarded a driver’s license in Las Vegas.

The four-minute clip, which has already racked up nearly 10 million views on YouTube, shows the hatchback – voted World Car of the Year in 2022 – navigating the congested streets of Sin City, including the Strip.

While the video is clearly designed to promote Hyundai’s tech, the company is also hoping it can play a positive role in reassuring the general public about the safety of autonomous vehicles. A recent survey from the American Automobile Association revealed that no less than 66% of U.S. motorists said they feared autonomous vehicles.

The video shows the Ioniq 5 driving itself under the watchful eye of Kandice Jones, a Department of Motor Vehicles-approved examiner with 25 years of experience.

Jones’ reputation as a tough nut to crack is evident, as is borne out by her resumé of testing nearly 31,500 drivers, with a 16% pass rate. “I have failed thousands and thousands of students in the interests of public safety,” she explains.

But even this vastly experienced examiner can’t fail to be impressed as the Ioniq 5 sits its Class C License exam, with no driver behind the wheel.

Using the same criteria as a human driver faces, it is monitored for speed, how it changes lanes, slow-speed maneuvers, stopping ability, left turns and reaction times when facing unexpected obstacles.

Related:Hyundai Developing Revolutionary Walking Car

The result? “Surprisingly, it was a perfect score,” says Jones, as she happily passes the Hyundai as fit for a driver’s license.

The video also touches on the benefits autonomous transport can bring to the visually impaired community, showing how it would assist a former Paralympian, Pearl Outlaw, to get out and about.

The location of Las Vegas for the Ioniq’s 5 test is no coincidence. Hyundai has been operating its self-driving taxis there with partner Motional via Lyft and #Uber over the past couple of years, including at nighttime.

Late last year, Hyundai and Motional confirmed plans to manufacture production versions of the Ioniq 5 self-driving taxi, with fully integrated radar, lidar and cameras, at a facility in Singapore.

Sungwon Jee, vice president of the Hyundai Motor Company, said he hoped the video would show the importance the brand is placing on autonomous tech.

“As a company that pursues freedom of mobility, we at Hyundai aim to exhibit the safety and trustworthiness of the Ioniq 5 robotaxi through this campaign,” he said

“We will continue our efforts to communicate our AI-based autonomous driving technology, which is set to provide positive changes to our customers’ everyday lives.”

About the Author(s)

Graham Hope

Graham Hope has worked in automotive journalism in the U.K. for 26 years, including spells as editor of leading consumer news website and weekly Auto Express and respected buying guide CarBuyer.

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