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Hyundai Motor Group to invest $35bn in future automotive tech

15 October 2019 - 11:52 By Reuters
Hyundai Motor Group is accelerating its attempts to catch up in the self-driving car race.
Hyundai Motor Group is accelerating its attempts to catch up in the self-driving car race.
Image: Hyundai

Hyundai Motor Group said on Tuesday it plans to invest $34.65bn (about R513bn) in mobility technology and strategic investments by 2025, as South Korea's top automaker accelerates its attempts to catch up in the self-driving car race.

The plan, which Hyundai said encompassed autonomous, connected and electric vehicles, comes after the company and two of its affiliates announced an investment of $1.6bn (about R23bn) in a joint venture with US self-driving tech firm Aptiv.

Hyundai's plan also received a boost from the South Korean government, which said on Tuesday it plans to spend 1.7 trillion won (about R21tn) from 2021 to 2027 to boost autonomous vehicle technology.

The government expects Hyundai to launch a nationwide service of fully autonomous cars to fleet customers in 2024 and the public by 2027.

This push is part of a blueprint for future cars President Moon Jae-in announced at an event at Hyundai Motor's research centre near Seoul.

The government said it was conducting a feasibility study for its proposed funding boost, which would include parts, systems and infrastructure. It said Korea lagged behind in self-driving car software and parts like sensors and chips, despite the country's advanced, fifth-generation mobile data network.

South Korea also said it would prepare a regulatory and legal framework to ensure the safety of autonomous cars by 2024.

“We will actively transition from combustion-engine cars to future cars,” industry minister Sung Yoon-mo said at a media briefing on Tuesday.

The government also aimed to lay the technological and legal groundwork for the demonstration of flying cars in 2025. Hyundai Motor's executive vice-chairman Euisun Chung had said the company was looking at developing flying cars, which could be commercialised ahead of the most advanced self-driving cars.

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