Aptiv and Hyundai Motor Group are forming an autonomous driving joint venture to develop and commercialize of SAE Level 4 and 5 self-driving technologies. The joint venture, which will be based in Boston, plans to “begin testing fully driverless systems in 2020 and have a production-ready autonomous driving platform available for robotaxi providers, fleet operators, and automotive manufacturers in 2022.”
Hyundai Motor Group and Aptiv each have a 50% ownership stake in the joint venture, which has already been valued at $4 billion. Aptiv will contribute its autonomous driving technology, intellectual property (IP), and approximately 700 employees focused on the development of scalable autonomous driving solutions.
Hyundai Motor Group affiliates — Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors and Hyundai Mobis — will collectively contribute $1.6 billion in cash at closing and $400,000 in vehicle engineering services, R&D resources, and access to IP.
Aptiv already operates more than 100 autonomous vehicles on multiple continents. To date, it has provided more than 70,000 paid autonomous vehicle rides, servicing more than 2,700 destinations.
“This partnership further strengthens Aptiv’s industry-leading capabilities in the development of advanced driver assistance systems, vehicle connectivity solutions, and Smart Vehicle Architecture,” said Kevin Clark, President and Chief Executive Officer, Aptiv. “Hyundai Motor Group’s cutting-edge engineering and R&D capabilities make them our partner of choice to advance the development of a production-ready autonomous platform.”
Aptiv spun out of Delphi Automotive in 2017. Delphi also is 2017 acquired Cambridge, Mass.-based self-driving car startup nuTonomy for $450 million. nuTonomy at the time was led by Co-Founder and CEO Karl Iagnemma. The new joint venture will be led by Iagnemma, who since Nov. 2017 has served as President of Aptiv Autonomous Mobility. The venture will have technology centers across the United States and Asia, including Korea.
“The new joint venture marks the start of a journey with Aptiv toward our common goal of commercializing autonomous driving,” said Euisun Chung, Executive Vice Chairman, Hyundai Motor Group. “The combined capabilities of Aptiv, a leading global technology company, and our Group, a global OEM, will create invaluable synergy to lead the autonomous driving landscape.”
The joint venture’s Korea operations will serve as a key technology center as well as a base for vehicle modification and a testbed for autonomous driving. Hyundai Motor Group’s presence in the local automotive market and Korea’s leading 5G infrastructure could spur the partnership’s development efforts.