Hyundai will bring self-driving cars to the 2018 Winter Olympics

Hyundai Ioniq autonomous concept
The 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, won’t just be a showcase for athletes. Hyundai plans to to show off self-driving cars at this high-profile venue.

Hyundai is working with the South Korean government to bring self-driving cars to the Olympics, reports Korean news outlet etnews. This will be a particularly challenging venue for self-driving cars because of the curvy roads around Pyeongchang and expected heavy snow, which can blind the cars’ sensors. But Hyundai thinks it has a solution.

The automaker will rely on extremely accurate HD digital maps to keep its cars from crashing. Multiple automakers and tech companies are developing digital maps for self-driving cars, but Hyundai is reportedly aiming for a new level of precision. The maps will be accurate to within less than 10 centimeters, which the company considers a “world’s best” figure, according to etnews.

Self-driving cars use a combination of cameras, radar, and lidar to “see” their environment, but digital maps allow them to figure out where they are going. In inclement weather, accurate maps become even more important, because they allow cars to continue driving by comparing their position to known landmarks. This compensates for any interruptions in sensor data caused by the unfavorable conditions.

The report claims, Hyundai and the South Korean government plan to deploy autonomous shuttles that will run between Seoul and Pyeongchang, as well self-driving cars that will operate in the area around the Pyeongchang Olympic stadium. That could make for one of the largest deployments of autonomous vehicles so far.

Hyundai unveiled an autonomous prototype based on the Ioniq at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show, and demonstrated it on the streets of Las Vegas during CES 2017. At the time of the autonomous Ioniq’s L.A. unveiling, Hyundai said it had three of the cars, plus two autonomous Tucson Fuel Cell SUVs. Most testing has taken place at Hyundai’s R&D center in Namyang, South Korea.

Alongside self-driving cars, Hyundai is preparing a next-generation hydrogen fuel cell vehicle to replace the current Tucson Fuel Cell. The new model will be unveiled next year, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see it make an appearance at the Olympics.


Lyft and Aptiv’s self-driving car program has come a long way (but not far enough)

Many companies talk about self-driving cars, but Lyft and Aptiv are already using a fleet of them to transport paying customers in Las Vegas. Hop in for a close look at the tech of autonomous cars, and the challenges they face.

Photography news: Careful, self-driving cars can ruin your camera sensor

In this week's photography news, learn how self-driving cars destroyed a digital camera via lasers. Find out how many patents Canon filed for in 2018. Read about what Tamron lenses are available for the Nikon Z6.

Worried about commuting in winter weather? Nissan has the answer

The Nissan Altima midsize sedan is now available with all-wheel drive. To advertise that fact, Nissan's Canadian division slapped some tank-like tracks on an Altima to create a one-off show car.

Muscle cars, trucks, and EVs roared into the subdued 2019 Detroit Auto Show

The 2019 Detroit Auto Show was the quietest edition of the event in recent memory, but that doesn't mean nothing significant happened inside the Cobo Center. Here are the new cars and concepts we saw at the show.

Ford’s Mustang-inspired electric crossover will spawn a Lincoln luxury version

Lincoln will get its own version of parent Ford's first mass-market, long-range electric vehicle. While Ford's version will have styling inspired by the Mustang, Lincoln will take a more traditional approach.
Home Theater

Spotify adds simplified Car View mode for Android users

What was once just a test is now a reality: Spotify is rolling out a new, simplified in-car user interface for all Android users called Car View, which automatically engages when the app detects a car Bluetooth connection.

Driving Daimler’s 40-ton eCascadia big rig isn’t just fun, it’s electrifying

Daimler Trucks brought its all-electric eCascadia semi-truck to the 2019 CES, and invited us to take the wheel. What does it feel like to drive one? Simply electrifying, of course.

Boutique carmaker Karma Automotive, legendary design firm Pininfarina team up

Karma Automotive is partnering with legendary Italian design firm Pininfarina on future luxury cars. The first product of that partnership will appear later this year, Karma said, without offering other details.

Sibling rivalry: 2019 BMW Z4 takes on the 2020 Toyota Supra

BMW and Toyota forged an unlikely partnership when they set out to build a sports car platform together. Here, we examine the similarities and differences between the 2019 Z4 and the 2020 Supra.

Tesla cuts workforce by 7 percent, ends referral program to trim costs

Tesla has announced plans to trim its workforce by seven percent, and it will end the referral program that rewards customers who help it sell cars. These measures are ways to cut costs and boost profits.
Emerging Tech

Too buzzed to drive? Don’t worry — this autonomous car-bar will drive to you

It might just be the best or worst idea that we've ever heard: A self-driving robot bartender you can summon with an app, which promises to mix you the perfect drink wherever you happen to be.

Michigan OKs digital license plates with Rplate’s connected car platform

The state of Michigan approved the use of digital license plates on motor vehicles registered in the state. Reviver Auto, the manufacturer of the Rplate connected car platform, worked with Michigan's Department of State to pass the bill.

This Chevy Silverado pickup truck is made from more than 300,000 Lego bricks

To promote The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, Lego and Chevrolet teamed up on a life-size replica of the automaker's Silverado pickup truck made from more than 300,000 plastic bricks.

Prices for using Tesla Supercharging just skyrocketed

Tesla is updating their Supercharging pricing based on local electricity rates and customer demand, which has lead to an increase in charging costs by as much as 33 percent in some regions.