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Hyundai Investing in V2X & V2V Specialist Autotalks

by Nathan Eddy
Hyundai is investing an undisclosed amount in Autotalks, an Israel-based fabless semiconductor company that is developing both vehicle-to-everything (V2X) and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications technologies, which are considered essential to the future of autonomous driving.

Autotalks' technology supplements the information coming from other sensors on the vehicle, specifically in non-line-of-sight scenarios, rough weather or poor lighting conditions.

The company's platform uses Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC), a wireless communication technology that enables vehicles to communicate with each other directly, without involving cellular networks or other infrastructure.

A dedicated spectrum of 75MHz in the 5.9 GHz band, was allocated for Intelligent Transportations Systems (ITS), specifically for DSRC technology, which transmits the location, speed and acceleration of a vehicle several times per second.

With that data, nearby cars can be made aware if the vehicle is stalled, stopped in traffic or about to enter a blind intersection, among other things.

Signals may travel car-to-car or go through a local network, while fixed transmitters can also send information like speed limits and hazard warnings to cars.

"Connectivity is one of the core technologies that can be applied to smart city business models, as well as autonomous driving and infotainment," Yunseong Hwang, director of Hyundai's open innovation business group, wrote in a statement released July 2. "We will continue to invest in disruptive technologies that are in line with our current and future strategic pillars."

A little over a year ago Autotalks completed its Series D round with about $40 million in investments, as well as an oversubscription of $10 million. That outcome is the result of new investments from investors such as Mirai Creation Investment Fund, of which a principal investor is Toyota.

"Having a top global car manufacturer such as Hyundai invest directly in Autotalks is not only a vote of confidence in the company, but a testament to the growing V2X market," Autotalks CEO Hagai Zyss wrote in a statement.

In an effort to stay at the cutting edge of a rapidly growing -- and increasingly competitive -- connected and autonomous vehicle market, Hyundai has embarked on a series of partnerships, including one earlier this year with technology giant Cisco.

The two companies agreed to develop a connected car platform with a focus on the optimization of data flow, both in and out of a vehicle and within it, and the plan is to unveil a connected car based on this platform next year.

Cisco and Hyundai believe that the key to the platform is an emphasis on what they call Software Defined Vehicle (SDV) architecture, a method of design that ensures the ability to reconfigure and build upon the platform in the future.

In October, the Hyundai America Technical Center (HATC) entered into a long-term partnership with the American Center for Mobility (ACM) to support the advancement of connected and automated vehicle technology.

As one of ACM's Founder-level sponsors, HATC kicked in $5 million to support the creation of a collaborative test environment in Southeast Michigan.

Nathan Eddy is a filmmaker and freelance journalist based in Berlin. Follow him on Twitter @dropdeaded209_LR.

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