Nevada-based autonomous vehicle developer Aptiv is forming a joint venture project with Hyundai Motor Group to advance the design, development and commercialization of SAE Level 4 and 5 autonomous technologies.
The joint venture will begin testing fully driverless systems in 2020 and will aim to develop a production-ready autonomous driving platform available for robotaxi providers, fleet operators, and automotive manufacturers in 2022.
As part of the agreement, Hyundai Motor Group and Aptiv will each have a 50% ownership stake in the joint venture, valued at a total of US$4bn. Aptiv will contribute its autonomous driving technology, intellectual property, 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 US$1.6bn in cash at closing and US$0.4bn in vehicle engineering services, R&D resources and access to intellectual property.
“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 CEO, 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.”
Chung Eui-sun, executive vice chairman, Hyundai Motor Group, said, “The new joint venture marks the start of a journey with Aptiv toward our common goal of commercializing autonomous driving. 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 new joint venture will be led by Karl Iagnemma, president, Aptiv Autonomous Mobility and headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, with technology centers across the USA and Asia, including Korea. Hyundai Motor Group and Aptiv will each appoint an equal number of directors to govern the joint venture.
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 mobility service platforms. Hyundai Motor Group’s strong presence in the local automotive market and the country’s world-class 5G infrastructure are anticipated to spur the partnership’s development efforts.
The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions and is expected to close early in the second quarter of 2020.