The Hyundai Ioniq family is growing with the addition of a fourth member—an autonomous version, unveiled at the 2016 LA Auto Show mid-November.
In today’s digital world, where news coverage seems instant, the days of auto show media surprises are few and far between. But during the first press day, Hyundai pulled a fast one on the media with an autonomous Ioniq it left sitting uncovered for all to see.
Almost no one noticed, as the car looks almost identical to the all-electric Ioniq, which made a big splash at the New York International Auto Show in March alongside its sibling conventional hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions.
The secret is that its lidar system has been installed in its front bumper rather than on the roof—an uncommon but smart practice that lets it blend in with other road vehicles and, as Hyundai put it, not look like “a high-school science project.”
In total, there are numerous technologies on board that assist the Ioniq’s self-driving process: three advanced radars, three forward-facing cameras, blind spot sensors, adaptive cruise control, HD mapping data, a GPS antenna, and a “smart cruise” radar that offers a 360-degree vehicle monitoring service.
But the development and ensuing race to build these autonomous vehicle technologies can get costly. To combat those costs, Hyundai announced it’s attempting to create its own autonomous-driving operating system, using the advanced safety technologies already built into its current cars so that less computing power is required. That includes technologies like Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Smart Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning, and Rear Cross-Traffic Assist.
To show its determination to get into the autonomous game, Hyundai announced it will offer autonomous test drives in its Ioniq at the CES trade show in Las Vegas from January 5 through 8.