Autonomous vehicles are the future, but the first few iterations are expected to cost an arm and a leg. Hyundai is trying to change that with a more affordable option and their self-driving Ioniq looks promising.
First appearing at the Los Angeles auto show last fall, Hyundai has brought two of their autonomous Ioniq sedans (one hybrid and one pure electric) to the 2017 CES for people to test drive, or not drive. To keep prices low, the automaker has decided to install the Lidar units in the front and sides of the bumper. There’s also a windshield-header-mounted camera array and it’s used to read traffic lights, pedestrians, other cars, etc.
By moving away from the computing intensive 360-degree LIDAR sensor that’s found spinning on top of some autonomous concept vehicles, Hyundai managed to reduce the computing footprint of their Ioniq. It may not have a 360-degree coverage or be able to see the back, but engaget found that the 130-degree front sensor and 110-degree side sensors are enough to keep an eye on almost every angle. That’s where the computing reduction comes from.
We’re still a long way from seeing these on showroom floors, but one day we could be sitting in autonomous Hyundai vehicles that can navigate around roads with traffic lights, road blocks and construction, the odd animal, and most importantly the pedestrians.