[Photo by Hyundai Mobis Co.]
Hyundai Mobis Co., the auto parts unit under South Korea’s largest auto conglomerate Hyundai Motor Group, will test its self-driving car platform, jointly developed with Russia’s largest search engine Yandex, on Russian roads, the company announced on Thursday.
The two partnering companies aim to launch up to 100 units of the so-called robo-taxis run by the new autonomous driving platform across Russia by the end of this year for test driving, according to the companies. The new platform is fitted in Hyundai Motor’s new Sonata sedan.
For the collaboration on unmanned mobility technology and tests, Hyundai Mobis and Yandex signed a memorandum of understanding in March to develop deep learning-based autonomous driving systems.
Yandex is Russia’s top internet search engine operator with more than a 60 percent market share. It has recently expanded its investment in developing other Internet-based services and has become No.3 in the car-sharing market and No.1 in the car-hailing industry in Russia. Now it focuses on the driverless technology with a separate division for the R&D.
Hyundai Mobis dispatched its research team to Russia to help speed up the development of the autonomous driving platform after the two signed on the MoU agreement. It has taken only three months to develop the self-driving platform in the new Sonata sedan since the MoU. The rapid development proves the two companies’ competitive edge in automobile technologies and autonomous driving algorithm, said a company official.
Once the testing successfully finishes this year, Hyundai Mobis and Yandex are planning to launch the robo-taxi service in Russia first and then gradually expand to other markets.
By Lee Jae-cheol and Lee Ha-yeon
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