The latest Hyundai Sonata sedan is coming out later this year, but a self-driving version is already here.
On Thursday, Russia’s self-driving car service Yandex unveiled an autonomous prototype of the 2020 Hyundai Sonata, coming out this fall as a traditional, human-driven car.
Yandex, which is effectively the Russian Google, collaborated with Hyundai’s Mobis car parts division to retrofit the sedan over six weeks. Yandex received the car at the end of May and turned it into a vehicle that can drive itself at high levels of autonomy (known as Level 4 and 5, meaning no humans needed in most or all conditions) with a sensor suite, cameras, and software installed into the vehicle.
The Sonata will eventually join 50 modified Toyota Priuses as part of Yandex’s self-driving fleet. By the end of 2019, the company plans to have 100 self-driving cars. Other Hyundai and Kia cars will eventually get the self-driving treatment as well.
The Hyundai Sonata as a regular car.
Image: Volkan Furuncu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
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The Hyundai Sonata as a self-driving vehicle.
The autonomous Sonata has been tested on the Yandex’s testing grounds, but will “soon” drive on public streets in Moscow. The company didn’t give more details about when that would happen. Here’s footage of the prototype car working the curves and turns on Yandex’s closed test track:
Last month, Yandex started testing its autonomous cars in Tel Aviv. Its self-driving taxi service in one of the two Russian cities it operates will remove the safety drivers next month, making for a truly driverless experience.