Hyundai and Aptiv have announced that they are entering into a joint venture to develop self-driving vehicle technologies. The new joint venture will begin testing fully driver-less systems in 2020 and aims to have a production-ready autonomous driving platform available for robotaxi providers, fleet operators and automotive manufacturers in 2022.

Both parties will have a 50% stake in the new concern, which is valued at US$4 billion (RM16.7 billion). Hyundai, along with Kia and Hyundai Mobis, will collectively contribute US$1.6 billion (RM6.7 billion) in cash and US$400 million (RM1.67 billion) in vehicle architecture and production as well as R&D resources.

Aptiv, formerly known as Delphi Automotive, will contribute its autonomous driving technology and technical elements within the framework. It will also contribute around 700 employees to focus on the development of scalable autonomous driving solutions. The new joint venture will be headquartered in Boston, and will have technology centres located across the United States and Asia, including Korea.

Both partners said that at this point, the joint venture will not get involved in running ride-hailing, data or network services of its own, Reuters reports. “Uber is developing its own technology, but potentially our technology could be better than theirs and then they could also become our customers,” Hyundai executive vice-chairman Euisun Chung said.

Aptiv CEO Kevin Clark said that the alliance will initially focus on self-driving technologies for passenger vehicles, with these being tested and developed across Asia, Europe and the United States to offer products tailored to major global markets. Both companies added that they would discuss the inclusion of additional alliance members as things progressed.

In a bid to catch up with its rivals, Hyundai looks to have abandoned its strategy of developing new technologies for autonomous vehicle in-house, with the latest JV adding to the investment it made in autonomous driving technologies company Aurora in June.

Earlier this year, the automaker said it will be investing US$12.3 billion (RM50.3 billion) in future technologies such as self-driving, connectivity and car-sharing areas by 2023. Last November, Hyundai and Kia invested US$250 million in Singapore-based ride-hailing firm Grab last year, and in March announced plans to invest US$300 million in Indian ride-hailing platform Ola.

Electrification hasn’t been left out – earlier this month, Hyundai and Kia joined the Ionity electric car fast-charging network alliance in Europe.