2017 Hyundai Ioniq Autonomous EV at LA Auto Show 2016

2017 Hyundai Ioniq Autonomous EV Concept CES LA Auto Show

Hyundai seems to be really serious about building their brand’s marketing message around the Ioniq. The car scored an official Bonneville speed record earlier this month. And, now, Hyundai is pushing the Ioniq brand even further into the future with a fully autonomous version of the new EV debuting at this week’s LA Auto Show.

To help it navigate changing roads, a Hyundai-developed LiDAR system (light imaging, detecting, and ranging – a surveying method that measures distance to a target by illuminating that target with a laser light) allows the autonomous IONIQ to detect the absolute position of surrounding vehicles and objects. Which, basically, means the car can see in real-time 3D, unlike some other systems that use a monocular contrast-detecting system to “see” edges and painted features.

You can check out Hyundai’s official LA Auto Show press release for the autonomous Ioniq EV, in its entirety, below.


LOS ANGELES, Nov. 16, 2016 – Hyundai Motor Company announced the introduction of the Autonomous IONIQ concept during its press conference at Automobility LA (Los Angeles Auto Show). With a sleek design resembling the rest of the IONIQ lineup, the vehicle is one of the few self-driving cars in development to have a hidden LiDAR system in its front bumper instead of on the roof, enabling it to look like any other car on the road and not a high school science project.


The goal of the autonomous IONIQ concept was to keep the self-driving systems as simple as possible. This was accomplished by using the production car’s Smart Cruise Control’s forward-facing radar, Lane Keep Assist cameras and integrated them with LiDAR technology. Hyundai Motor is also developing its own autonomous vehicle operating system, with the goal of using a lot less computing power. This will result in a low-cost platform, which can be installed in future Hyundai models the average consumer can afford.

The car’s hidden LiDAR system also allows the Autonomous IONIQ to detect the absolute position of surrounding vehicles and objects. In addition, the Autonomous IONIQ features:

  • A three camera array which detects pedestrian proximity, lane markings and traffic signals
  • A GPS antenna to determine the precise location of each vehicle
  • High definition mapping data from Hyundai MnSoft which delivers location accuracy, road grade/curvature, lane width and indication data
  • A Blind Spot Detection radar to ensure even simple lane changes are executed safely


    These features build upon the capabilities of the production IONIQ, which offers Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Smart Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning and Rear Cross-Traffic Assist. The vehicle also incorporates all autonomous controls into existing systems to ensure that drivers can have a seamless transition between active and self-driving modes.

    Hyundai Ioniq LiDAR

    Earlier this year, Hyundai Motor earned a license to test its autonomous cars in urban environments. To showcase the cars in action, Hyundai Motor will debut two Autonomous IONIQs at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January where the cars will be found driving up and down the neon-and sunlit boulevards of Las Vegas. In addition to offering media rides, these IONIQs will be prepared to tackle:

  • High levels of pedestrian traffic
  • Stop lights, stop signs and school zones
  • Road construction and roadblocks
  • Speed bumps
  • Dogs without a leash
  • Children at play
  • Shopping centers
  • Intersections without traffic signals


    Hyundai Motor is currently testing three autonomous IONIQs and two Autonomous Tucson Fuel Cell vehicles at Hyundai Research and Development Center in Namyang, South Korea. Navigating Namyang for a self-driving car is a challenge because of the more than 11,000 engineers and designers on site every day.


    So, yeah- looks like Hyundai’s really going after the future here with the Ioniq. What do you guys think? Would you trust an autonomous Hyundai more than, say, an autonomous Tesla? Do you think Hyundai’s budget- orders of magnitude more than Tesla’s, one would imagine- will make the difference? Let us know, in the comments.


    Source | Images: Hyundai.

    Jo Borrás

    I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, out on two wheels, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.