Hyundai Motor Group Innovation Centre Singapore in Jurong is more than an Ioniq 5 assembly plant, it is also an ambitious smart hub for urban mobility

Published by on . Updated on 24 Nov 2023

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HMGICS aims to make our Smart Nation even smarter and is also quite an automotive theme park for EV enthusiasts.

Hyundai Motor Group Innovation Centre Singapore, or HMGICS for short, currently assembles two variants of the Ioniq 5 electric hatchback for the Singapore market, plus fully-autonomous versions exported to Nevada, USA for Las Vegas robotaxi services by Motional, an American joint venture with the Korean automaker.    

The next model to be built in HMGICS will be the Ioniq 6 electric sedan, which is expected to start coming off the facility’s production line in 2024.These are all state-of-the-art electric vehicles, manufactured in an equally state-of-the-art factory. The plant at 2 Bulim Avenue looks the part, too, with an exterior facade which suggests commercial laboratory rather than industrial factory. 

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1700546499753 Hyundai 008 FotorThe clean and peaceful HMGICS factory looks more like a laboratory.

The bright, airy and mostly white main lobby continues the "lab" theme, which includes a prominent Smart Farm (vertical hydroponics) where green fingers cooperate with white robot arms to grow and harvest the produce.  

These in-house crops won’t be the magic beanstalk that achieves the Singapore Green Plan’s “30 by 30” food security goal (to produce 30% of our country’s food needs by 2030), but it shows how technology can maximise natural resources. Foodies will be happier to know that HMGICS will be opening its third-floor restaurant in the 2nd quarter of next year. The farm-to-table menu will be created by three-Michelin Star chef Corey Lee, based in San Francisco.

The star of the show in HMGICS is, of course, its Ioniq 5 production. 
Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1700546625634 Hyundai 074 FotorSome of the 200 robots in HMGICS which help the 50 workers do their work efficiently.

Visitors do not need to don hard hats or wear safety goggles before entering the heart of the complex. Instead, they put on a VR headrest and experience a virtual-reality tour of the production line.

The real thing might seem unreal to those who have visited a conventional car factory before. The HMGICS production area is comfortably air-conditioned and as clean as the Komoco Leng Kee showroom. 

I could eat off the floor, and if I spilt my kimchi soup from the canteen, a maintenance robot doing its rounds would report the accidental spillage to the HMGICS digital command centre, which would then dispatch a cleaner (human, not humanoid) to clear the mess. 

The most fascinating members of the 200-strong robot force, which outnumbers the staffers by four to one, are the four Spot robot dogs. 
Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1700546670686 Hyundai 020 FotorOne of the four Spot robot dogs which assist with production quality control.

Made by Hyundai-controlled Boston Dynamics, Spot is a multi-purpose mechanical quadruped which can perform programmed tasks autonomously. 

HMGICS does not deploy its four Spots as guard dogs to patrol the premises after office hours. 

They are used for production quality checks by photographing certain tasks completed by the technician at each production cell station and transmitting the images to the central server, whose algorithms compare the photos against “good” and “bad” assembly benchmarks and return the results for subsequent rectification if needed.  

Such human-robot collaboration goes with the unique digital-physical operations of HMGICS to make its car production highly automated, extremely flexible (allowing single-batch personalisation) and readily scalable (up to 30,000 units per annum) within a given space, while requiring as little manpower as possible. 

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1700555969140 Hyundai 064 FotorAn Ioniq 5 being put through its paces on the HMGICS Skytrack.

Connecting the dots for HMGICS are Industry 4.0 technologies such as advanced robotics, artificial intelligence, data analytics, 5G connectivity, and Internet of Things.

However, the greatest thing about HMGICS is not in the cloud, but on the roof of the seven-storey structure with clouds overhead.

The Skytrack is a 620-metre banked oval where newly-made Ioniq 5s are tested at up to 80 km/h. 

The three-lap, counterclockwise shakedown is mainly for engineers to reconfirm that every car’s major systems are good to go and verify the overall quality of the finished vehicle before delivery.

HMGICS Skytrack rides in Ioniq 5s are available for the general public, which naturally includes Hyundai customers. While waiting for their Skytrack experience, they can do some light reading in the trackside lounge's library which is well-stocked with automotive books. 

Reserve your Skytrack ride here

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After descending from the Skytrack to the ground floor, they can purchase mementoes in the merchandise section, which includes Hyundai-style collectibles such as designer T-shirts featuring the Pony.

Buying an electric car in Singapore doesn’t get more engaging than this. Building it this way for Singapore makes the SG Ioniq 5 extra special.

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1 Comment

Raza Hosyain
Hyundai has had a presence in the Pakistani automotive market since the 1990s, first making its debut in 1998 in partnership with Dewan Farooque Motor Company (DFML).

7 months ago