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Hyundai Nexo, CES Asia 2018
Image: Hyundai

Hyundai Motor has announced a series of partnerships and joint collaborations covering artificial intelligence, autonomous driving technology, and fuel cell technology.

At CES Asia 2018 in Shanghai, it outlined plans to work with Chinese start-up DeepGlint on AI, which it plans to use in four key focus areas: manufacturing, retail, environment and seamless mobility. It also cited a broadening of customer experience, a clear understanding of customer needs, robotics, ‘product quality’, ‘sociocultural needs’, and ‘creating a safer driving environment’ as specific aspects that AI could enhance or empower.

Hyundai also confirmed that it is to join the Baidu-led Apollo Project, a cooperation between a number of global carmakers, ICT companies, startups and academic institutions working on autonomous driving technologies. “We aim to move beyond providing just means of transport but autonomous driving technologies, which provide customers freedom in both space and time,” said Jin-woo Lee, VP of Hyundai’s autonomous driving center, in a statement. “We are reinforcing our [existing] collaboration with Baidu in order to hasten the development of cutting-edge technologies crucial to commercializing autonomous vehicles.”

Further announcement on fuel cells

At CES Asia 2018, Hyundai showed again its Nexo fuel cell vehicle and its powertrain [pictured], along with its ‘Fuel Cell House’ concept, featuring energy control and air purification systems. It followed this up with an announcement that it is to form a cooperation with Audi on the development of fuel cell technology, with a cross-licensing of patents to accelerate its commercialization for both companies.

“We want to achieve attractive cost structures for the breakthrough of the most systematic form of electric driving,” said Peter Mertens, Audi’s board member for technical development. “On our FCEV roadmap, we are joining forces with strong partners such as Hyundai. For the breakthrough of this sustainable technology, co-operation is the smart way forward to leading innovations.”

The multi-year agreement will also benefit Hyundai's sister brand Kia and Volkswagen AG, and as a first step, Hyundai “will grant its counterpart the access to parts that are based on Hyundai’s know-how accumulated from the development of ix35 Fuel Cell as well as Nexo," according to a statement. The partnership also aims to “lead industry standards in fuel cell technology... accelerate FCEV development and spur innovation,” with the Hyundai Mobis components division to expand its role in development and supply.

-Farah Alkhalisi