After receiving the all clear from the state of Nevada, Hyundai has commenced testing a pair of fully autonomous Tucson Fuel Cell vehicles on the state's public roads. The program is aimed at gauging the cars' performance in real-world conditions and fast-tracking the Korean automaker's autonomous driving technologies.
Although this is the first test of a fully-autonomous Fuel Cell vehicle on public roads in the US, but Hyundai has been testing the capabilities of its autonomous Tucson Fuel Cell in Korea since November 2014. In that time it has covered more than 10,000 mi (16,100 km) of highways, city streets and private test tracks to assess how the car handles traffic signals, signs, pedestrians, cyclists and other hazards.
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Equipped with an around view monitor, GPS, blind spot radar, cruise control radar, ultrasonic sensor and LIDAR, the self-driving Tucson Fuel Cell boasts four main autonomous features. These include the ability to drive autonomously on controlled roads, track the vehicle in front amongst moderate to high traffic at up to 37 mph (60 km/h), pull over to the side of the road in case of emergency and autonomously guide itself through narrow roads.
"A great deal of research and rigorous product testing will need to be undertaken in order to make the 'self-driving car' a reality," says Tae-Won Lim, Vice President, Central Advanced Research and Engineering Institute of Hyundai Motor Group. "Thanks to this license we will be able to accelerate the testing of our latest autonomous technologies. We are confident that our latest innovations, both for partially- and fully-autonomous driving, will ultimately make driving safer for all road users."