First Ride In Hyundai’s Autonomous IONIQ Electric

8 months ago by Mark Kane 18

Hyundai first presented its autonomous driving program housed inside a new IONIQ Electric at the at the Los Angeles Auto Show this past November (see video above).

The all-electric car was equipped with a hidden LiDAR system in its front bumper – in order to better look like any other car on the road … and less of a high school science project.

Autonomous IONIQ Concept

Autonomous IONIQ Concept

According to Autoblog, who recently got the chance to test the car on Las Vegas streets (and by that we mean, rode along a pre-mapped, all-right-turn route), no worries presented themselves on running down any pedestrians on busy routes, or running through any red lights; but the magazine did note that one can still experience some unsettling delays when the IONIQ’s computer is processing data.

“The autonomous Ioniq uses one 140-degree and two 110-degree Ibeo LiDAR units in the front fascia, plus a camera array inside the cabin at the top of the windshield. A single camera is used for traffic-light detection, with stereo units for the driving assistants.

According to Hyundai, the autonomous gear detects objects knee-high but also will not drive into a low-hanging tree branch. We’re also told the system works in rain and snow, citing the all-conditions approval certificate from Nevada, though that center front sensor looks prime for snow packing in heavy stuff.”

Autoblog also had some interesting impressions on the drive itself:

“The ride experience is drama-free if a bit on the cautious side. Braking is often moderate to heavy, more on/off than the modulation range of many human drivers, but we felt no panic braking or ABS intervention. The steering wheel ratchets through turns in what appear to be three- or four-degree increments, then calculates that’s not enough, and adds more or less as needed. That kind of steering movement is a curious thing to watch, and likely not the most energy-efficient or easiest on tires, but it wasn’t abrupt enough to transfer lateral motion or head-toss to occupants. Once the car has satisfied itself the road is clear, acceleration to the limit is electric-car crisp, effortless. and quiet.”

Hyundai presentation on the autonomous concept:

Hyundai Motor Company Presents Self Driving IONIQ with Hidden LiDAR

Hyundai Motor Company Presents Self Driving IONIQ with Hidden LiDAR

“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 and Lane Keeping Assist cameras, which are integrated with LiDAR technology.  Hyundai 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:

  • Forward Facing Radar which detects the relative location and speed of objects in the vehicle’s forward path to aid in route planning
  • 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
Autonomous IONIQ Concept

Autonomous IONIQ Concept

Earlier this year, Hyundai Motor earned a license to test its autonomous cars in urban environments. Hyundai Motor is currently testing three autonomous IONIQs and two Autonomous Tucson Fuel Cell vehicles at Hyundai Motor Research and Development Center in Namyang, South Korea.

Autonomous IONIQ Concept

Autonomous IONIQ Concept

To showcase its autonomous vehicles in action, Hyundai Motor will debut two autonomous IONIQs at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January 2017 where the cars will be found driving up and down the neon-and sunlit boulevards of Las Vegas. The testing in Las Vegas will build upon the Hyundai’s current efforts to bring the most adept and safest self-driving car to market.

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”

source: Autoblog

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18 responses to "First Ride In Hyundai’s Autonomous IONIQ Electric"

  1. ffbj says:

    They threw whole kit and caboodle at the problem, as we used to say. I guess we will see how that works out. I think it’s a good thing as competition leads to excellence.

  2. Nicholas says:

    This one even stops at stoplights!

    1. AlphaEdge says:

      I get the joke.

      But in regards to this video, I can’t see that they even stopped at any lights, and they kept on making right hand turns (much easier than left hand turns of course), and it actually looked liked they went around the same block, with no pedestrians ever being seen.

  3. AlphaEdge says:

    Lots of nice over-lap there. Smart in using non-360 degree LIDAR, and instead by using more directional LIDAR. Probably cheaper is my guess, and avoids the whole having to put it on the roof, and looking goofy. Also, very low, in catching low ground level objects.

    Now make it standard on all IONIQ’s going forward, to collect as much data as possible.

    1. Doggydogworld says:

      Spinning LIDARs are for R&D, not deployment. Cheap solid-state LIDARs that mount low are just around the corner.

  4. Skorpan says:

    Hello,
    I’ve got a request for english native speakers. I didn’t get a couple (literally) of sentences from the quoted autoblog article:

    1. “We’re also told the system works in rain and snow, citing the all-conditions approval certificate from Nevada, though that center front sensor looks prime for snow packing in heavy stuff.”

    The part starting at “, though that center” is completely opaque to me.

    I know what is “packing snow”, but what is “snow packing”? And why introduce “though” clause?

    2. “The ride experience is drama-free if a bit on the cautious side.”

    This time I suspect the meaning, but this time sth, with respect to logic seems “off”, to me.

    I don’t want to seem nitpicky, I just didn’t understand it, probably due to my own shortcomings.

    It’s the first time in years that I’ve experienced such difficulty in understanding written english.

    Thank you in advance.

    And to not make this comment totally off-topic, I’ll say, that it is very good to see more and more automakers pushing forward with their autonomous driving tech.

    Thanks insideevs.com for your work and keeping us, ev fans, up-to-date.

    Best regards
    Skorpan

    1. alohart says:

      1. “We’re also told the system works in rain and snow, citing the all-conditions approval certificate from Nevada, though that center front sensor looks prime for snow packing in heavy stuff.”
      The sensor in the center of the front bumper cover could be blocked by snow when driving through deep snow despite the system having been certified by Nevada for all driving conditions.

      2. “The ride experience is drama-free if a bit on the cautious side.”
      The suspension handles most road conditions without loss of control or composure, possibly by using so much stability and traction control that it has no sporty feeling.

      1. Skorpan says:

        Thanks a lot, alohart – that was fast indeed!

        “2” means exactly what I suspected. I forgot that “if” means “although” at times.

        With respect to “1”, now “though” makes perfect sense. But does it mean that “prime for” means sth like “prone to”?
        Can’t find any definition in any dictionary of such a phrase. Is it perhaps more subtle? Prime means (among other things) “of best quality”. Is it some form of irony, the author is using? Like: “The sensor was made ideally to be rendered useless by heavy snow”?

        thx for your patience

        rgds

        1. Skorpan says:

          Nevermind. Got that one as well ;-). Oxford to the rescue:
          Most suitable or likely:
          ‘any hospital with high costs is a prime candidate FOR closure’

          1. Rightofthepeople says:

            Welcome to the English language, where all rules always have an exception (mostly). 🙂

            Ah English, the most screwed up language in the universe. But it’s our screwed up language, so we love it!

            Merry Christmas Skorpan!

            1. skorpan says:

              Haha 😀 And Merry Christmas to you, Rightofthepeople!

              1. wavelet says:

                Actually, Skorpan, whoever wrote that paragraph quoted from Autoblog actually made a couple of stylistic mistakes in English (English syntax is fuzzier than that of some other languages, but a journalist should know better):
                1) “though that center front sensor looks prime for snow packing in heavy stuff.”
                should be “primed for packing snow…”, or, better, “primed to pack snow…”
                The reversed “snow packing” is just awkward, while “prime” is more of a mistake.

                2) “The ride experience is drama-free if a bit on the cautious side” is a mistake in logic.
                it’s not the “ride experience” which is cautious, it’s the way the car drives (or “rides”).
                This was simply a lazy journalist, or maybe s/he didn’t proofread the story.
                A better way to put this would be “the ride experience is drama-free, although the driving manner is a bit on the cautious side.”

                1. skorpan says:

                  Thanks, that was very helpful!

                2. Patrick says:

                  Prime here means “ready”

  5. MaartenV-nl says:

    Are these solid state lidar sensors?
    These have so much more potential than the mechanical ones Google is using.

    1. Steven says:

      Fun for do it yourselfers too.

      https://www.sparkfun.com/products/14032

  6. AlphaEdge says:

    Amazing the new LIDAR’s use no mechanical mechanism for “steering” the laser beam at different angles. Offers a million different points of data in 1 second!

    You can read about it here:
    http://spectrum.ieee.org/cars-that-think/transportation/sensors/quanergy-solid-state-lidar