The Hyundai Motor Group (HMG) has outlined a detailed roadmap in its bid to turn every model on its lineup into “constantly evolving” Software Defined Vehicles by 2025. A strategy that also includes the introduction of two new EV-dedicated platforms.
This new ‘Software Age’ will allow the Hyundai Motor Group to keep vehicles across the Hyundai, Kia and Genesis brands, both new and those already purchased, constantly updated “throughout the vehicle’s entire lifetime” with the latest software updates courtesy of over-the-air (OTA) updates.
This will done via a new Connected Car Operating System (ccOS), currently in co-development with AI specialist NVIDIA – an HMG partner since 2015 – to which new HMG vehicles will be automatically registered. Such is its confidence in the plan, HMG predicts that, by 2025, 20 million vehicles worldwide will be registered to its new connected car service.
Said software updates would include connectivity and infotainment upgrades as expected, as well as improved safety tech and driver assist systems. Most intriguing are updates to “driving performance,” which, rather like the Polestar 2’s recent, OTA ‘performance software upgrade’ from 402 hp to 469 hp, would see power figures boosted remotely across HMG vehicles.
HMG has confirmed that 18 trillion won – around $17.4 billion – will be dedicated to the build of a new Global Software Centre by 2030, designed to accelerate development and bolster the capabilities of the Group’s new era of Software Defined Vehicles.
The move, the Group explains, brings with it not just logistical benefits – data gathered by the ccOS can be used to speed up development of self-driving technology – but also residual values too: a ‘used’ SDV that boasts the most up-to-date software and power figures would hold its value more than older models, for example.
Though the scheme could be rolled out as early as next year, with customers able to activate functions through their infotainment systems (and thus opening up another revenue stream for HMG), the Software Age will only start to build momentum upon the introduction of two new EV platforms in 2025, both of which will be fully ccOS compatible.
The first – eS – is being marketed as a ‘skateboard’ for commercial purpose-built vehicles. The second – the flexible eM – has been designed for EVs across all segments, and is being specifically developed to support Level 3 or higher autonomous driving technology.
More significant than that, the Group states that the new eM platform “will provide a 50 per cent improvement in driving range on a single charge” compared with EVs built on Hyundai’s current E-GMP platform.
Alongside the extended range, and unlike the E-GMP, the next generation eS and the eM platforms will feature universal battery and electric motor components across multiple segments, reducing production costs and making vehicle development more efficient in the process.
“The electrical and electronic architecture can be thought of as an organically connected structure that improves the function of a vehicle’s electrical device components,” HMG’s Hyung Ki Ahn explains. “As this architecture significantly reduces development complexity and enables software updates to be carried out effortlessly without any requirement to manually modify the controller, it is ideal for presenting a variety of vehicle segments, and region-specific models tailored for different countries.
“It also enables us to respond flexibly to what consumers want in this fast-changing market.”