“Active safety is thought of as the highest level in autonomous driving. It should not be limited to certain people. It should be applied to not only luxury cars also to low-end compact car models,” Lee Jin-woo, the head of Hyundai Motor’s Intelligent Safety Technology Center, said at a conference held to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Korea Transport Safety Authority in central Seoul on Tuesday.
Active safety technology refers to self-driving features such as automatic emergency braking, a lane-keeping assist system and advanced smart cruise control.
Hyundai Motor installed the automatic emergency braking system in its luxury Genesis sedan in 2013, followed by the premium Grandeur sedan and flagship Sonata sedan last year.
The third-generation compact car All New Morning released last January is also equipped with the automatic braking system.
According to Lee, Hyundai will not use expensive auto parts, such as pricey light detection and ranging sensors, to scale down the price of self-driving cars.
In a bid to accelerate the production of affordable self-driving cars, Hyundai is seeking to cooperate with companies in related industries, which is an unconventional approach by the automaker.
“Forming a consortium when necessary is also included in the road map. We are actively reviewing to work together with software, IT and automotive companies,” Lee said.
A detailed road map of Hyundai’s plans for complete self-driving cars will be shared with affiliates and partner companies in the first half of this year, Lee told reporters.
It includes a target timeline for each autonomous driving technology the company plans to work on, alongside a list of related technologies.
The number of self-driving cars on roads is expected to reach 20 million units by 2040 and further expand to 60 million by 2050, according to US-based research firm Strategy Analytics.
Last February, Hyundai combined divisions related to self-driving and formed the Intelligent Safety Technology Center to focus on autonomous driving.
Lee, who had previously worked on the development and production of self-driving cars at US auto giant General Motors, has been heading the center since its establishment.
By Kim Bo-gyung (firstname.lastname@example.org)