Automaker Hyundai has successfully demonstrated the capabilities of its driverless, next generation fuel cell electric vehicles (EVs) in a 190km journey between Seoul and Pyeongchang.
The pilot is the world’s first to achieve level 4 autonomus driving with fuel cell EVs. Hyundai tested its five EVs at 100 km/h-110 km/h, the maximum speed allowed by law on Korean highways.
Previously, autonomus driving has been tested at low speeds on domestic roads.
The company’s level 4 self-driving technology complies with the SAE International Standards.
The vehicles used a 5G network operated by telecommunications firm KT Corp and South Korea's wireless expressway payment system Hi-pass, to navigate toll gates.
"Hyundai's philosophy for developing autonomous driving technology is to provide the highest level of safety combined with a high standard of convenience that our customers expect," said Jinwoo Lee, head of the Intelligent Safety Technology Center at Hyundai Motor Group.
Hyundai has plans to launch the five EV models, of which three are based on the firm’s fuel cell electric SUV NEXO technology and two on Genesis G80, in Korea next month. However, commercialisation of the technology for fully autonomous driving will be done by 2030.
The NEXO Fuel cell EV SUV has the ability to self drive for more than 600km on a single charge, a distance equivalent to 839 liters of petrol.
The automaker says passengers using its autonomous EVs will have access to four technologies via a user interface.
Passengers will be able to use "Home Connect," a car-to-home technology which enables the user to access and control IoT devices installed in their smart home. They can view home camera images in real-time, control the lighting, remote door lock or TV, and even manage home energy systems. Hyundai plans to phase in the home-to-car and car-to-home technology to its vehicles from the first half of 2018 and from 2019, respectively.
"Assistant Chat" is a technology that allows users to ask questions to a Chat Bot with simple voice commands and receive answers in the form of text or images.
"Wellness Care" can monitor health information of passengers seated in the rear of the vehicle, such as their stress level, heart rate, and mood state. They can also access relaxing therapeutic services, and they can be connected with a health consultant through a real-time video call.
In addition, the vehicle also provides "Noise-Away" cabin noise reduction technology, and "Mood Care" which provides rear door mood lighting when the music player or Wellness Care is active.
The Korean karaoke application "Everysing" also allows passengers to sing along to music on their journey, and it's possible to stream video to the rear-seat entertainment system. Lastly, users can receive real-time traffic information notifications, supported by multiple languages, including Korean, English and Chinese.
Featured image: Stock