Hyundai Motor Company completed South Korea’s first domestic highway journey with an autonomously navigated semi-trailer truck.
Hyundai’s Xcient truck drove approximately 40 km (25 miles) on the highway between Uiwang and Incheon, carrying a large semi-trailer simulating cargo transportation.
The demonstration, which took place on 21 August, was conducted using Hyundai’s Xcient model truck, which has a maximum load capacity of 40 tons. This was semi-equipped with a Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) standard Level 3 autonomous driving system, enabling it to steer, accelerate or decelerate, and maneuver through traffic, all without human input. A human driver was on-board to take over manual control when required.
The vehicle was equipped with innovative technology features, which enabled it to maintain and change lanes during the natural flow of traffic, detect lane changes made by vehicles in front of it, navigate through tunnels, and perform a complete halt or accelerate according to road traffic.
For the demonstration the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT) issued a temporary autonomous driving license for the first time to a heavy-duty truck. Hyundai Motor, in cooperation with its trade subsidiary Hyundai Glovis, utilized this opportunity to test the application of autonomous driving for use in the trade logistics industry.
The test route is Hyundai Glovis’s parts transportation most frequently travelled section for vehicles heading to the Port of Incheon. This includes 40km in total of automobile highway. The truck successfully completed the journey, travelling 40km in 1 hour, while abiding strictly to the expressway speed limit of 90 km/h (56 mph).
Hyundai Motor is planning to undertake further autonomous navigation technology tests in future in a variety of areas like Busan, and plans to concentrate on its enterprise development capabilities with the aim of early commercialization of the technology.
Expressways headed toward the Port of Incheon display heavy traffic even during weekdays, due to a high quantity of goods being exported. Therefore the vehicle’s autonomous technology and know-how had to be sufficient enough to adapt to unprecedented situations throughout the journey.
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