Driverless Minivans Will Soon Roam the West Like Tumbleweeds

It’s an amazing thing when automotive technology brings us to the future with autonomous vehicles. Hyundai and Aptiv plan to revolutionize this industry with minivans that drive us around without our having to do hardly anything. We simply need to oversee the drive to make sure no crashes occur

Automotive News recently reported that the company Aptiv has teamed up with Hyundai to produce self-driving vehicles. But it’s more than just your average autonomous vehicle. What they have planned could be a game-changer.

An overview of autonomous vehicles

Many cars have some type of autopilot feature, enabling the driver to take their hands off the wheel for a short while. One of the best-known automakers that popularized this level of self-driving is Tesla.

However, there are many levels to the autonomous feature. With upgrades to the technology, you can now allow your vehicle to do a lot of the driving for you. That means the car will scan what’s going on around it and react as needed, such as coming to a stoplight or avoiding an accident. 

We’ve evolved even further than that, though. Now we have vehicles where the car basically drives itself. There really isn’t a need to have a person in the driver’s seat. 

Behind this cutting-edge technology is specially designed software that controls the vehicle’s driving pattern. One company that designs these software programs is Aptiv.

What is Aptiv, and what has the company been up to?

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Aptiv is a software company that has made great strides in the autonomous vehicle industry. It designs and manufactures automotive components that are taking self-driving to a new level, one that’s innovative but safe. 

In 2018, Aptiv launched its first commercial-grade autonomous vehicle for a taxi service. Debuting in Las Vegas, Nevada, Aptiv began offering rides to people in a self-driving vehicle. The only difference is that those vehicles still used a driver.

Now that over 100,000 customers have ridden in those vehicles, the company wanted to do something more. It wanted to take self-driving to the ultimate level, where no one needs to be in the driver’s seat. 

The partnership producing driverless minivans

Recently, Aptiv partnered with Hyundai to form a new company, Motional. This business venture is busy at work designing a fleet of autonomous vehicles planned for release in 2022. They’re destined for taxi services as well. 

It isn’t clear which automakers Aptiv will partner with for the new venture, but, notably, the company uses Lyft for its self-driving taxi. What we do know at this point is that plans are in the works to enlist a fleet of brand-new Chrysler Pacificas to roll out a new autonomous driving vehicle program. 

In fact, the Motional group already sought permission from Nevada officials to use public highways to test the new self-driving technology for real-world practice. The Hyundai-Aptiv business venture plans on doing away with the need for a person in the driver’s seat. They will, however, keep someone in the passenger seat in case something goes wrong. 

Self-driving vehicles have come a long way, and they’re only getting better. Soon we’ll see driverless minivans tooling down the road.