Automobile major Hyundai has showcased the world’s first self-driving fuel cell electric vehicle. This is the first time autonomous cars have driven long distance at 100 km/h-110 km/h, the maximum speed allowed by law on Korean highways.
The company said the level 4 autonomous driving fuel cell electric vehicle self-drove 190 km from Seoul to Pyeongchang.
Hyundai is targeting to commercialize level 4 autonomous vehicles in smart cities by 2021 for global markets.
The automobile company will launch the fully autonomous vehicle in the market by 2030.
Five Hyundai vehicles — including three vehicles based on Hyundai’s fuel cell electric SUV NEXO, and two Genesis G80 autonomous vehicles — completed the journey. Hyundai’s fuel cell electric SUV NEXO will be released in Korea next month.
All vehicles are equipped with level 4 self-driving technology, as defined by the SAE international standards, and 5G network technology.
The demonstration started in Seoul on Feb. 2 and entering the highway, the vehicles moved in response to the natural flow of traffic. They executed lane changes and overtaking maneuvers, and navigated toll gates using Hi-pass, South Korea’s wireless expressway payment system.
These cars featured technologies that enabled them to recognize surrounding vehicles more accurately and make better judgments at junctions and at branching roads. Hyundai vehicles could navigate through toll gates by accurately calculating the toll gate’s width and position.
In addition, these vehicles could pinpoint their position on a map by using external sensors fitted for situations when the GPS signal was interrupted, such as going through long underground tunnels.
“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.
Autonomous driving processes a high volume of data, which requires a lot of power. The fuel cell electric model produces electricity through a reaction between hydrogen and oxygen in the fuel cell stack.
The company said that NEXO fuel cell electric SUV can drive more than 600 km on a single charge, which takes approximately five minutes. The model boasts system efficiency of 60 percent, durability equivalent to internal combustion engine-driven vehicles and a load space of 839 liters.