Hyundai Motor Co. on Friday held its fourth biennial competition for autonomous cars at a local speed circuit, a move aimed at enhancing its brand image and promoting technology growth.
In the past two decades, the carmaker provided advice and information on self-driving cars to university students so they can apply this know-how and come up with their own autonomous vehicles.
It is part of Hyundai's broad effort to become a leading player in the cutting-edge vehicle sector going forward. The carmaker has held the driverless car race since 2010.
"Hyundai aims to produce low-priced autonomous vehicles based on a standardized platform," Lee Jin-woo, head of Hyundai Motor's Intelligent Safety Technology Center, told reporters. Lee previously led autonomous driving technology development at General Motors Co.
Globally, driverless cars are being tested to hit the roads within the next several years and carmakers are jumping in to compete in this new market.
This year, 11 university teams composed of engineering students participated in the Autonomous Vehicle Competition sponsored by Hyundai. They competed with each other on a 5.2-kilometer track in terms of speed, braking, changing speeds and steering function, the company said in a statement.
In January last year, Hyundai provided its Avante compact to university teams that wanted to take part in this year's driverless car competition. It also gave financial support to scores of teams.
Among them, the 11 that made it to the final competition, it said.
The autonomous car race was held Thursday and Friday at the Inje Speedium Circuit, 165 km east of Seoul.
Hyundai is offering rewards for the contestants, including 50 million won ($45,000) in prize money and an opportunity to visit the United States, for the participating teams. (Yonhap)