Hyundai is pumping $21bn into connected cars

Hyundai has announced a plan to invest about Won23tn ($21.56bn) into the latest connected car technology.

The funds will cover the next five years of research and development into electric cars, autonomous vehicles, and related connected car technology. With the increasing appetite for the emerging technology, the South Korean automaker wants to ensure it’s not left behind.

Hyundai is currently facing a downturn in its business. Along with affiliate Kia Motors, Hyundai ranks as the world’s fifth-largest automaker group. However, the group missed their sales target for 2017 — marking the third straight year.

This year, the outlook isn’t looking much better. The group forecasts only a modest sales increase amid falling demand from China.

“Global trends are changing so fast. We will actively invest in new technologies and hire more talents to establish a virtuous circle,” Chung Eui-sun, Hyundai’s vice-chairman, said in a statement.

Along with the increased funds, Hyundai also plans to recruit around 45,000 people over the next five years. This increased manpower should help in Hyundai’s attempts to tackle criticism from some analysts claiming the manufacturer is not competitive enough when it comes to new technology.

Hyundai debuted its its Nexo hydrogen fuel cell during the Consumer Electronics Shows (CES) in Las Vegas last week. The company believes it will be suited to autonomous car technology due to its stable power supply.

In partnership with Aurora, Hyundai plans to bring self-driving vehicles to market by 2021.

Do you think Hyundai will be successful in the connected car era? Let us know in the comments.

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