Hyundai, Yandex Unveils 2020 Sonata Autonomous Car Prototype

Hyundai logo
The Hyundai logo is seen during the first press day of the Paris auto show, in Paris, France, Oct. 2, 2018 (Photo: REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/File Photo)

South Korean car manufacturer Hyundai Mobis and Russian internet giant Yandex recently unveiled their newest joint project, the 2020 Hyundai Sonata self-driving car prototype. The two companies is betting big on this project, and the confirmation of the self-driving car even predates the official release of the 2020 Hyundai Sonata traditional car.

The self-driving car will be based on the upcoming 2020 Sonata from Hyundai. While the artificial intelligence and software will most probably be developed by Yandex. The two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding and promised that their autonomous vehicles will be equipped with Level 4 and Level 5 hardware and software specs.

In a post, Yandex confirmed that it had already received its fleet of 2020 Sonatas at the end of May. These cars will most likely be test units. While Hyundai Mobi will most likely be tasked for developing the hardware part of the car and Yandex working on the software side, engineers from both companies are most likely to work with each other.

Based on the promotional material that the two companies provided, the autonomous driving Sonata features a sleek design with majority of its hardware appeared to be located on a hub on its roof. These are probably the sensors. Cables appear to run to the car's truck where there is additional hardware which is responsible for crunching and parsing all the data gathered by the sensors.

Yandex has yet to test the autonomous car in real world situations. However, the company did confirm that it had performed extensive tests on its facility. The company added that within a closed and controlled environment, the self-driving 2020 Sonata performs completely autonomously. The Moscow-based company said that it should be able to start testing the car in public roads within the foreseeable future.

This is just the start of a growing collaboration between the South Korean and Russian companies. According to Yandex, the collaboration will soon grow and the company expects Hyundai Mobi to be able to provide it with a fleet of 100 deployment vehicles. The company expects that this will fulfilled by before the end of 2019.

Yandex said that some of its future self-driving prototypes will not be completely based on the Hyundai Sonata. In order to prove that it's technology is flexible, the company is planning to work with different car models that will be provided by Hyundai and another South Korean car manufacturer, Kia.

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