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By Matt Nightingale
Updated on Apr 5, 2022
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett, Senior Editor.
In 2021, Hyundai gave the world its first look at a prototype for a self-driving Ioniq 5 SUV. The vehicle serves as the foundational touchstone for an autonomous ride-hailing service set to launch in 2023.
Hyundai predicts that self-driving cars will represent half of all new car sales by 2030. That’s right, the future is here-ish. Very soon drivers will be able to get from point A to point B without ever having to touch the steering wheel (at least if Hyundai has anything to say about it).
If you’re curious about what Hyundai has to offer in the self-driving car department, look no further. In this article, car insurance comparison super app Jerry takes a look at what Hyundai has on the horizon for self-driving cars, what’s available now, and how self-driving technology impacts your car insurance.
Does Hyundai have a self-driving car?
In 2018, Huyndai wowed the world when three of the company’s self-driving cars completed a 118-mile journey from Seoul, Korea to Pyeongchang, the site of that year’s Winter Olympic Games. Two of the vehicles were G80 sedans from Hyundai’s luxury vehicle division, Genesis. The third was a concept electric vehicle fueled by a NEXO hydrogen cell.
Then, in 2021, Hyundai again caught the auto world’s attention by unveiling its prototype for a self-driving Ioniq 5 SUV. This vehicle will serve as an autonomous robotaxi for a ride-hailing project set to launch in 2023 with partner company Aptiv.
All of these cars were outfitted with Level 4 autonomy technology, which is currently not available to the public. The highest level of vehicle autonomy available today is the Level 3 Honda Legend, which is only able to be leased in Japan. Mercedes-Benz also recently gained approval to begin producing Level 3 autonomous cars.
Want to know more about the levels of vehicle autonomy? And the capabilities of each level of autonomous vehicle, plus how they work? Read on.
Key Takeaway Hyundai does have a self-driving car, but they are not yet available to the public.
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How do self-driving cars work?
Self-driving cars use a complex system of cameras, sensors, GPS, and computer processors. These systems help the vehicle to “see” the world around it and navigate the roads. A lot of the technology is cutting edge, but some of it is surprisingly old.
Elon Musk has said that cameras are the only sensors that a car needs to be able to drive autonomously. Cameras have the ability to capture images of objects, other vehicles, and the environment and supply that information to a car’s computer processors, aka the car’s brain.
However, cameras can be limited in their functionality where visibility is low, like in fog or snowstorms.
Computer processors are necessary to be able to read, analyze, and act on the information gathered by the various sensors. And, because traffic moves fast, the vehicle’s computer must move fast, as well. For that, a computer needs massive processing power.
The information that the sensors feed to the car’s computer is so complex that regular old CPUs aren’t fast enough for autonomous driving. Instead, self-driving technology relies on graphic processing units, or GPUs. These processors operate at over 10 times the speed of a CPU to analyze the complex information found in the images supplied to it by the vehicle's cameras and other sensors.
And Tesla has gone even further, developing a neural network accelerator chip that can process information over 120 times faster than GPUs.
Radar is an older technology you’ll find on self-driving cars. Just as it did when it was developed in the 1930s, radar uses radio waves to detect and measure the distance of objects. The reason radar is still useful is that it functions well in any weather conditions, unlike cameras and other visual sensors.
Another sensory system found on board self-driving cars is radar’s flashy cousin LiDAR. This system detects lightwaves the same way radar detects radio waves and uses the information to create a 3D map of its surroundings. The images that LiDAR produces can be extremely detailed, but its functionality can be limited in low-visibility weather.
The development of high-speed 5G networks offers exciting prospects for self-driving cars. More and more, the things we use are interconnected, and 5G networks will make it possible for our cars to interact and communicate with each other, making traffic more predictable and safe.
Although car manufacturers are making great strides with self-driving technology, we’re still a little ways off from fully autonomous cars. As smart as the sensors and computers are, they aren’t quite capable of reading things like body language, eye contact, and other cues that human drivers use to communicate with each other and pedestrians. Problems like this will need to be solved before we can let the cars take the wheel.
Levels of autonomy
There are six levels of autonomous driving capabilities. Currently, the highest level of autonomous driving available to the public is the Level 3 autonomy found in the Honda Legend.
Mercedes-Benz has also been approved to develop vehicles with Level 3 autonomy, and Hyundai has plans to launch a robotaxi service in 2023 featuring vehicles with Level 4 autonomy.
Here are the various levels of driving autonomy.
- Level 0: No driving automation. These vehicles are operated entirely by a human driver.
- Level 1: Driver assistance. These vehicles feature a single rudimentary automated system that performs one task overseen by a human driver, like cruise control.
- Level 2: Partial driving automation. Vehicles with Level 2 autonomy can control steering and acceleration, still under the watch of a human pilot.
- Level 3: Conditional automation. Level 3 vehicles can perform most driving tasks but still require human oversight.
- Level 4: High automation. Vehicles at this level can perform all driving tasks under select conditions.
- Level 5: Full automation. Vehicles no longer require human operation under any circumstance.
The 10 best Hyundais with self-driving technology
When we talk about self-driving cars, we tend to think of vehicles that can do everything for us—from finding the best route to executing turns to parallel parking. But self-driving technology has been available on cars since the late 1950s when cruise control was made available on the 1958 Chrysler Imperial.
In fact, many Hyundai models are outfitted with some form of self-driving technology, including features like:
- Electronic stability control, which applies brakes to the individual wheels of the car to ensure it continues moving in the right direction.
- Forward collision avoidance assist, which not only warns you when a collision is imminent but can also apply the brakes if necessary.
- Lane-keeping assist, which can steer your car back into your lane if it senses you drifting.
- Cruise control steering assist can keep your car in its lane and follow the flow of traffic.
Here are the top 10 Hyundais with some or all of these features:
|Model||Vehicle type||Standard safety technology||Starting price|
|2022 Santa Fe||Midsize SUV||Electronic stability control, forward collision avoidance assist, lane-keeping assist, cruise control steering assist||$28,445|
|2022 Ioniq||Sub-compact SUV||Electronic stability control, forward collision avoidance assist, lane-keeping assist||$24,645|
|2022 Nexo||Electric sub-compact SUV||Electronic stability control, forward collision avoidance assist, lane-keeping assist||$60,680|
|2022 Palisade||SUV||Electronic stability control, forward collision avoidance assist, lane-keeping assist||$34,595|
|2022 Elantra||Midsize sedan||Electronic stability control, forward collision-avoidance assist, lane-keeping assist||$20,995|
|2022 Sonata||Sedan||Electronic stability control, forward collision avoidance assist, lane-keeping assist||$25,195|
|2022 Genesis G90||Sedan||Electronic stability control, forward collision avoidance assist, lane-keeping assist||$76,045|
|2022 Kona||Electric sub-compact SUV||Electronic stability control, forward collision avoidance assist, lane-keeping assist||$35,245|
|2022 Tucson||Midsize SUV||Electronic stability control, forward collision avoidance assist, lane-keeping assist||$26,195|
|2022 Veloster||Three-door hatchback||Electronic stability control, forward collision avoidance assist, lane-keeping assist||$33,545|
Are you overpaying for car insurance?
The added safety that these self-driving technology features allow for can help lower your insurance rates. Many experts say that over 90% of accidents are caused by human error, and as self-driving technology advances, we’re likely to see a drop in traffic accidents and traffic congestion.
As a result, drivers may see insurance rates go down as self-driving technology becomes more prevalent. Only time will truly tell!
How to find the most affordable Hyundai insurance
If you’re looking to insure your Hyundai, you don’t have to wait for everybody to get a self-driving car to get a good rate. Just use the Jerry app.
Jerry helps you find the best insurance prices available by comparing your current coverage with quotes from 50+ providers. And Jerry is a licensed insurance broker, so when you find a deal that you like, Jerry can help you cancel your old policy and switch to your new one, all within the app. Sign-up takes under a minute and the average Jerry user saves $887 a year.
“I signed up for a new policy with Jerry’s help. I ended up saving $236 a month after my switch. Thank you, Jerry!” —Adelaide C.
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