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Future mobility

Hyundai’s Chung charts vision as top-tier eco-friendly auto brand

The top Korean automaker also set forth an ambitious sales target of 7.47 million cars for this year

By Jan 03, 2022 (Gmt+09:00)

Hyundai Motor Chairman Chung Euisun
Hyundai Motor Chairman Chung Euisun

South Korea’s top automaker Hyundai Motor Group on Monday set out its vision to be a top-tier eco-friendly auto brand with its focus on electrification, autonomous driving, robotics and urban air mobility.

The automotive group, which has the country’s two largest carmakers – Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Corp. – also unveiled its ambitious 2022 sales target of 7.47 million cars, up 12% from last year’s sales of 6.67 million units.

“This year, we plan to introduce an array of smart solutions for industries that are core to our future strategies, such as autonomous driving, robotics and urban air mobility, thereby realizing a myriad of possibilities in the lives of our customers,” Chairman Chung Euisun said in his New Year's speech delivered via the group’s metaverse platform.

The chairman said the group will strive to make significant progress in its efforts to become a global top-tier eco-friendly brand by working toward carbon neutrality with its focus on electrification.

Dog-like robot Spot, humanoid robot Atlas and Hyundai's NEXO hydrogen fuel cell car
Dog-like robot Spot, humanoid robot Atlas and Hyundai's NEXO hydrogen fuel cell car

Last year, Hyundai launched several electric vehicles such as the Hyundai IONIQ5, the Kia EV6 and the Genesis GV60, all of which are based on the group’s dedicated EV platform E-GMP.

The group said it will further accelerate its electrification efforts in 2022 with the launch of the Hyundai IONIQ6, the Genesis GV70 EV, the Kia Niro EV and the Kia EV6 high-performance model.

FUTURE MOBILITY

Chairman Chung also stressed the importance of acquiring proprietary technologies, such as artificial intelligence, to push for its future mobility projects.

Hyundai plans to introduce various pilot service programs based on Level 4 autonomous driving technology this year.

The company said in November it is launching the RoboRide, a pilot service of its first autonomous robotaxi based on the IONIQ5, in Seoul in the first half of 2022.

The Hyundai IONIQ5 robotaxi is equipped with the hardware and software needed for Level 4 self-driving capabilities. At Level 4, a vehicle can drive itself under limited conditions, just shy of Level 5, which enables fully automated driving.

Hyundai's IONIQ5-based autonomous robotaxi
Hyundai's IONIQ5-based autonomous robotaxi

In mid-December, Hyundai said its US mobility joint venture, Motional Inc., has teamed up with Uber Technologies Inc. to provide an autonomous food delivery service in Santa Monica, California, in early 2022.

The company also said it will actively shift its business focus toward smart mobility from brick-and-mortar carmaking following its acquisition in 2020 of US robotics startup Boston Dynamics Inc.

With the acquisition, Hyundai has said it will seek ways to apply the US firm’s robot technology to its autonomous driving and urban air mobility projects and use robots in smart factories and last-mile product delivery.

AMBITIOUS 2022 SALES TARGET

Chairman Chung earlier said that robotics will account for 20% of its future business, with automobiles making up half of its sales, followed by UAM at 30%.

Hyundai Chairman Chung unveils a new vision for Genesis
Hyundai Chairman Chung unveils a new vision for Genesis

The automotive group said on Monday it plans to commercialize its UAM projects, including an electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicle, by 2028 under its Supernal brand.

Meanwhile, Hyundai Motor Group said it aims to sell a combined 7.47 million cars globally, covering the Hyundai, Kia and Genesis brands, this year.

Last year, the group sold a total of 6.67 million units, falling short of its annual target of 7.08 million cars, amid a global shortage of automotive chips. Nevertheless, the 2021 results are a 4.9% increase from the previous year.

Write to Kyung-Min Kang and Il-Gue Kim at Kkm1026@hankyung.com

In-Soo Nam edited this article.
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