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In August, Hyundai announced that it would ramp up its testing on autonomous vehicles in an abandoned factory outside of Detroit. The automaker chose Michigan because of that state’s more relaxed regulations with regard to driverless vehicles.

This move is consistent with Hyundai’s current pursuit of autonomous technologies. The automaker’s Genesis G90 sedan is getting a new suite of advanced safety technologies that includes adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance and active blind-spot detection.

The company is also developing new technology that will help control acceleration, braking and steering with the aid of a driver.

In July, it was reported that Hyundai could be partnering with Uber to develop autonomous technology. The move would make sense given the Korean government recently gave Hyundai permission to begin testing its self-driving Genesis models on public roads.

These moves are part of Hyundai’s stated objective to begin developing highly autonomous vehicle technology by 2020.

Hyundai is one of more than 30 corporations that is actively investing in driverless research and development. Other automakers include Jaguar/Land Rover, Toyota, Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, GM, Nissan and Ford.

As the autonomous technologies continue to evolve, many legal and liability issues still need to be sorted out. For instance, if an accident occurs, who is at fault: the driver, the automaker or the software developer? What if the technology is hacked and it results in a collision or a fatality?

The one big advantage that autonomous technology advocates point to is the potential for fewer auto accidents. When you consider between 60 and 70 per cent of auto accidents happen because of driver error (fatigue, distraction, driving while under the influence), reducing that number even fractionally would be a huge benefit for drivers and society. Some reports have suggested that autonomous vehicles could reduce accidents by 90 per cent.

Based on current research and trends, it’s reasonable to expect that autonomous vehicles could be sharing the roads alongside user-operated vehicles. And Hyundai is committed to playing an important role in this important evolution in automotive transportation.