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The Hyundai Ioniq family gets a new member, even if it’s just a concept for now. The Korean carmaker revealed the Autonomous Ioniq concept at the LA Auto Show and is ready to demonstrate its self-driving capabilities in January 2017, when the Autonomous Ioniq will be driving up and down the boulevards of Las Vegas at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

The cars will offer media rides and 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 centres and intersections without traffic signals, Hyundai claims.

Earlier this year, the carmaker earned a license to test its autonomous cars in urban environments. Three autonomous Ioniqs and two autonomous Tucson fuel cell vehicles are already being tested at Hyundai’s base in Namyang, which is home to 10,000 staff every day.

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Hyundai says that its self-driving Ioniq is one of the few of its kind to have a hidden LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) 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.”

Hyundai’s goal was to keep the self-driving systems as simple as possible. This was accomplished by using the regular Ioniq’s Smart Cruise Control forward-facing radar, Lane Keep Assist cameras and integrated them with LiDAR tech.

The company says it is developing its own autonomous vehicle OS, 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. The car also features a GPS antenna to determine the precise location of each vehicle and high definition mapping data from Hyundai MnSoft which delivers location accuracy, road grade/curvature, lane width and indication data.

The Autonomous Ioniq’s features build upon the capabilities of the production Ioniq Hybrid (also available in EV and plug-in hybrid forms), which offers Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Smart Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning and Rear Cross-Traffic Assist.

All these active safety features will be available in the locally-assembled Malaysian-spec car, estimated to be priced at RM130k. Recently previewed, the 1.6L engine/lithium-ion polymer battery Ioniq Hybrid will be launching later this month.


GALLERY: Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid in Malaysia