Hyundai opens its advanced technology innovation center in Singapore run by robot "employees," including robot dogs, and powered by artificial intelligence.
Its Hyundai Motor Group Innovation Center Singapore (HMGICS) also announces that the facility will be the manufacturing hub for the Motional Hyundai Ioniq 5 robo-taxi expected to go into full commercial service in the U.S. starting in 2024. The automaker says the vehicle is one of the first SAE Level 4 autonomous vehicles to be certified under U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
The new center combines advanced automation and real-time monitoring and data evaluation and is also equipped with bespoke testing facilities and a calibration center. Motional deploys a team on site to assist with production performing critical diagnostics, software development, calibration and validation tasks.
Both companies have been preparing for the production of robo-taxi vehicles for several years, including the development of a limited series of prototype vehicles that have been tested in the U.S. and Singapore. The initial fleet of Ioniq 5 robo-taxis recently completed a series of evaluations designed to demonstrate the quality, performance and maturity of the robo-taxi and its autonomous driving technology.
Meanwhile, the facility’s production process is dominated by the use of 200 robots. The facility has the capacity to produce 30,000 customizable battery-electric vehicles annually using a new cell-based production system.
These robots handle 50% of all tasks, including assembly, inspection and production and also 60% of component processing, ordering and transport. The tech hub also provides an immersive experience that includes flexible vehicle customization, test drives, virtual-reality factory tours and even a “smart farm” where robots cultivate vegetables.
CEO of HMGICS, Hong Bum Jung, says: “HMGICS stands as Hyundai Motor Group’s first global innovation hub and global test bed for future mobility. Our mission at HMGICS is to revolutionize the mobility value chain by developing and producing advanced and diverse forms of future mobility solutions. Commencing production of the Ioniq 5 robo-taxi in collaboration with Motional, we are committed to a continuous journey of innovation, aiming to spearhead the paradigm shift in the future of mobility.”
According to U.S. security technology specialist Knightscope, North America is a leader in robot development driven by the rise in defense spending and the need to address threats such as terrorism, piracy and border security challenges are driving the market expansion. It estimates the security robot market is valued at $14 billion in 2023 and is projected to reach $26.11 billion by 2028.