Uber is reportedly in South Korea exploring a potential autonomous vehicle partnership with the country’s largest automaker Hyundai Motor which could lead to huge car orders in the future.
Maeil Business News Korea reports that autonomous car researchers from US ride-sharing service Uber are visiting Hyundai’s Namyang research and development facility in Hwaseong.
The visit will enable the two firms to explore potential collaboration on the development of self-driving ride sharing technology.
Uber previously revealed plans that it intends to launch a driverless taxi service by 2020. To achieve this ambitious date, it has been actively seeking partners with advanced autonomous vehicle technology.
And Hyundai has certainly not been asleep at the wheel, when it comes to self-driving car technology.
Automobile industry watchers say that Hyundai has incorporated advanced autonomous innovation into its new line of Genesis sedans. Specifically autonomous car technology such as highway driving assist and the autonomous emerging braking system were incorporated into the design of the last year’s EQ900 as well as the G80, which is slated for release this month.
Hyundai was the first Korean company to get the green light from government to trial its self-driving Genesis sedans on public roads this March.
Uber interested in a 2019 Hyundai model
Speculation has emerged that Uber is interested in a future G80 model that Hyundai has scheduled to launch in 2019, which will be equipped with fully autonomous driving capability.
Uber is currently operating in 300 cities in 58 global cities. Should Hyundai be picked for a partnership, it could translate into huge sales orders of self-driving cars to feed the appetite of the rapidly expanding ride-sharing company.
But Hyundai isn’t the only carmaker that Uber is cozying up to. ReadWrite previously reported that Uber is rumored to be planning to purchase – or may have already placed an order for – thousands of Mercedes-Benz self-driving vehicles. One report said that Uber placed a huge order to buy 100,000 of the carmaker’s S-Class, with a total price tag of nearly $12 billion.
This follows another report that Fiat was in talks to provide self-driving cars to both Uber and to Amazon.