Singapore-built Hyundai Ioniq 5 robotaxi passes its driving test in the US

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The robotaxi version of the Ioniq 5 electric crossover is assembled by Hyundai’s advanced factory in Jurong for Motional, an American joint venture with the Korean automaker working on driverless vehicles in the United States.

Prototypes of the Ioniq 5 robotaxi were tested on public roads in Singapore and the US before HMGCIS (Hyundai Motor Group Innovation Centre Singapore) started producing it, alongside the regular Ioniq 5s meant for local Komoco customers. The initial rate of production in HMGICS had one out of every four Ioniq 5s being a robotaxi, which requires 30 to 40 percent more parts than the conventional variant. 

The made-in-Singapore robotaxis are deployed in Las Vegas, Nevada, where they are available in select areas as Uber rides. As these fully-autonomous cars are still in the research & development phase, their operation is not completely driverless yet - a staffer is in the driver’s seat during every trip for safety reasons. 

These Ioniq 5 robotaxis are among the first SAE Level 4 autonomous vehicles to be certified under the US Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. SAE Level 4 driving automation means no human intervention is needed when automated driving features are engaged under certain conditions.

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The state-of-the-art Korean robotaxi even “qualified” for a US driver’s licence in a simulated driving test, conducted in a closed course, complete with an actual driving examiner from the Department of Motor Vehicles. 

The driverless Ioniq 5 is said to have impressed with its speed control, lane changes, basic manoeuvres, execution of left turns, ability to stop accurately at a stop sign, and reaction time to hazards.

The high technology behind computer-controlled cars which could drive autonomously in a safe manner from point to point includes a suite of sophisticated sensors combining Lidar, radar and cameras.

The Ioniq 5 robotaxi was in front of the camera, too, with a starring role as “The first car to take a driver’s test for everyone who can’t take one.” 

Read More: 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

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