Hyundai teams with Aptiv to put self-driving cars on the road by 2022

You could see their autonomous tech in robotaxis and rival cars.

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Roberto Baldwin/Engadget
Roberto Baldwin/Engadget

Hyundai is getting particularly serious about its self-driving car strategy. The Korean car maker has formed a joint venture with Aptiv to foster Level 4 and Level 5 autonomous technology (that is, completely self-driving in some or all situations). They hope to start testing their systems in 2020 and hope to have a platform ready for autonomous taxis, fleets and other car makers in 2022.

The partnership will be run by Aptiv's autonomous mobility President Karl Iagnemma in Boston, but will otherwise be split 50-50. Aptiv will bring its driverless tech, intellectual property and about 700 staffers, while Hyundai will contribute its own intellectual property as well as vehicle engineering and R&D skills.

If the venture receives approval from regulators, it should close in the second quarter of 2020.

Both companies have clear incentives to form an alliance. Hyundai is in the midst of a fierce battle with Ford, Volvo and other automakers developing self-driving hardware. While it has been developing its own projects, Aptiv could help it fast-track that work. For Aptiv, meanwhile, this is a big leg up. To date, it's best-known for its partnership with Lyft. Now, it has an automotive giant under its belt -- this could lead to Aptiv systems in many more cars around the world.

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