Drive Wire for August 17, 2016: Hyundai Set to Partner With Google On Autonomous Cars

The Korean automaker needs some tech expertise to catch up to catch up to competitors.

Today, we learned that Hyundai is in talks with Google about a future partnership related to in-car technology, mobile connectivity and even autonomous vehicles. Unlike competitors like Honda and Toyota, Hyundai has not partnered with outside companies to make special vehicles, as Honda did with Ford to develop hydrogen fuel-cell technology and as Toyota did with Subaru, to produce the GT-86. But, seeing the speed with which companies like Tesla and Ford have leapt towards an autonomous future, Hyundai is realizing that policy must change.

Google is a sensible choice. Hyundai was an early adopter of Google’s Android Auto system, so the companies have an existing relationship. Plus, Google’s self-driving cars have logged over 1.7 million miles, lending the tech company real automotive expertise. The first project undertaken by the brands will be 100 autonomous Chrysler Pacifica minivans.