Hyundai tested its fleet of self-driven fuel cell electric cars in Korea recently. The cars successfully completed a journey of 190 kilometers from Seoul to Pyeongchang. This is the first time level 4 autonomous driving has been achieved with fuel cell electric cars.
One more striking feature of the tests was that this was the first time autonomous cars drove such a long distance at 100 km/h-110 km/h, the maximum speed allowed by law on Korean highways. Until now, autonomous driving has been demonstrated at a limited speed on some sections of domestic roads.
There were five Hyundai vehicles that were used for the demonstration out of which three vehicles were based on Hyundai’s next-generation fuel cell electric SUV NEXO, and the other two were Genesis G80 autonomous vehicles. SUV NEXO is scheduled to be released in Korea next month.
All vehicles were equipped with level 4 self-driving technology, as defined by the SAE international standards, and 5G network technology. The cars operated with two buttons ‘CRUISE’ and ‘SET’ on the steering wheel of each vehicle, that on being pressed the cars immediately switched to self-driving mode.
In their journey to Pyeongchang, the cars performed many functions like entering the highway, moving in response to the natural flow of traffic, lane changes and overtaking maneuvers, and navigation through toll gates using Hi-pass, South-Korea’s wireless expressway payment system.
The company had conducted a significant number of highway test drives amounting to hundreds of thousands of kilometers traveled, which enabled them to accumulate a vast amount of data that helped enhance the performance of its self-driving vehicles.
The vehicles used for the demonstration closely represent Hyundai’s three visions for future mobility: connected mobility; freedom in mobility; and clean mobility. Also, the vehicles look similar to Hyundai’s other mass-produced models, but they are installed with various cameras and LIDARs.
Adding a small number of sensors to mass-produced vehicles has enabled the realization of fully autonomous driving technology, and thus brings the company a step closer to the commercialization of self-driving technology. Hyundai also plans to commercialize the technology for fully autonomous driving by 2030.