Hyundai is the latest automaker to launch a mobility division, joining the likes of BMW, Daimler, Toyota, Volvo and others. The Korean automaker on Thursday announced the new division MoceanLab, which will oversee mobility services to be launched around the globe under the Mocean brand.
It's still early days so MoceanLab's first service is only a car-sharing trial operating in Los Angeles. Called Mocean Carshare, the service currently features a fleet of 20 Hyundai Ioniq Plug-In Hybrids but the goal is to expand this to 300 battery-electric cars, including some from sister-brand Kia.
Looking further out, MoceanLab will introduce services featuring self-driving cars, shuttle busses, and other forms of mobility. Hyundai and automotive supplier Aptiv (formerly Delphi) in September announced plans for a self-driving technology joint venture valued at $4 billion and said they plan to have the technology ready for the market as early as 2022.
Hyundai self-driving car prototype
The goal of the joint venture is to develop a reliable and robust self-driving system with Level 4 and Level 5 capability on the SAE scale. A Level 4 self-driving car can operate on its own within set conditions, the main one being a geofenced area with sufficient map data. A Level 5 self-driving car can operate in all conditions expected of a human driver.
Hyundai is already testing self-driving cars around the globe. Its most recent venture is BotRide, a trial self-driving service operating in Irvine, California, using prototype self-driving Hyundai Kona EVs, albeit in a very limited capacity. The cars operate within a small geofenced area and require a safety driver at all times sitting behind the wheel.
The sky really is the limit for MoceanLab, quite literally. In September, Hyundai said it was developing technology for urban air mobility, an area that could see the launch of low-cost, energy-efficient flying taxi services in major cities in the coming decade.