The Fuse

This Week in AVs: Hyundai and Aptiv Form $4 Billion JV; Global AV Development Hindered by Trade Tensions; and More

by Alex Adams | @alexjhadams | September 26, 2019

U.S.-China Trade Tension Threatens AV Deployment

The move could jeopardize the rollout of AVs as the United States and China have come to rely on each other as the industry matures.

Recent proposals by the United States to limit sharing technology with China threatens the development and subsequent deployment of AVs and AV technology, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. The move could jeopardize the rollout of AVs as the United States and China have come to rely on each other as the industry matures. “Employing the best available American and Chinese engineers, they typically raise funds in both countries, while also seeking customers in both,” the Journal wrote. Despite rising tensions between the two countries, cooperation between China and the United States has flourished. Cross-border venture capital activity between both countries—and specifically U.S. investor participation in financing rounds in China, the South China Morning Post reports—peaked in 2018.

Hyundai And Aptiv To Set Up $4 Billion Autonomous Driving JV
On Tuesday, Hyundai and Aptiv announced they are establishing a $4 billion joint venture, in which the partners will each take a 50 percent share. The venture will pool resources to develop new technologies for electric and autonomous vehicles, utilizing Aptiv’s autonomous driving technology, intellectual property and 700 employees focused on scalable AV technological development. The initiative would also help Hyundai stake out a leading position in deploying self-driving technologies, with plans for this venture to begin testing fully driverless systems in 2020 and have a platform for robotaxi providers, fleet operators and automakers in 2022. Also slated for a 2022 introduction is NVIDIA’s self-driving system for commercial use, which it has been developing with Volvo Trucks and lidar manufacturer Ouster.

Chinese Authorities Issue More AV Testing Permits
Officials in Wuhan, the capital of central China’s Hubei province, have granted licenses to three companies to test self-driving vehicles in the city. Baidu was issued permits to test five AVs, while Shenzhen Hylion Technologies and DeepBlue Technology Shanghai were both permitted to trial one bus each. The decision to award these licenses comes one week after Shanghai issued the country’s first licenses to pilot robotaxi services, allowing SAIC, BMW and Didi Chuxing to test in the city’s northwestern Jiading district. The recent approvals in both Wuhan and Shanghai represent a scaling up of China’s AV industry activities, cementing its status a major global player in this emerging industry.