Alternative Fuels

Hyundai EVP outlines strategy, next steps for transitioning away from fossil fuels

Hyundai Motor's Hydrogen Mobility Solution won the second-ever International Truck of the Year Truck Innovation Award in 2019.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America
Three key steps need to be taken to accelerate the transition from fossil fuels to hydrogen, according to Hyundai. Hyundai Motor Group Executive Vice Chairman and Hydrogen Council Co-chair Euisun Chung opened up the Hydrogen Council's third annual CEO Meeting in Paris, France with a speech outlining the steps.

As a first step, Chung recommended achieving cost reductions through technological innovation in all sectors of the hydrogen industry. From production to storage, distribution, and application, Chung says that new creative ways of lowering the cost of hydrogen need to be discovered and implemented.

In his speech, Chung also said that there needs to be a comprehensive safety management system throughout the entire hydrogen value chain in order to convince the general public that hydrogen is completely reliable in terms of safety.

Because of the lack of harmful emissions from vehicle tailpipes when they're fueled by hydrogen, the tradition has health benefits for humans and Mother Earth. Chung's speech underlined the need for governments and policymakers to advocate the inclusive benefits of hydrogen and promote the vision of a hydrogen society and the opportunities it will create. This statement is in line with the priorities of the Hydrogen Council.

The Hydrogen Council and Chung recognize that hydrogen adaption may require government and policy intervention. Additionally, billions of dollars in investment are necessary. The Council suggests that this may be as much as $70 billion.

"A clean energy future with hydrogen is closer than we think, because the industry has been working hard on addressing remaining challenges. This report shows what remains to be done and defines a clear path forward," said Benoit Potier, chairman and CEO of Air Liquide and co-chair of the Hydrogen Council. "2020 marks the beginning of a new era for energy: As the potential for hydrogen to become part of our global energy system becomes a reality, we can expect fewer emissions and improved security and flexibility. This announces the decade of hydrogen."

"The Hydrogen Council hopes that the report's findings will not only increase public awareness about the potential of hydrogen to power everyday lives, but also debunk the myth that a hydrogen economy is unattainable due to cost," Chung said. "If we are to reach our global climate goals by mid-century and reap the benefits of hydrogen, now is the time to act."

There have been four-, five, and six-speed transmissions. All the way up to 10-speeds. Now, there's the world's first predictive shifting technology that combines traditional transmission functionality with smart computing that takes into account road conditions and the flow of traffic to shit into the right gear. By optimizing gearing, vehicles can have improved fuel economy and less wear on a their mechanical elements including the brakes.

Called the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Connected Shift System, the technology employs intelligent software in the Transmission Control Unit that collects and interprets real-time input from underlying technologies, including 3D navigation equipped with a precise map of the road as well as cameras and radar for smart cruise control. The automakers say that the 3D navigation input includes "elevation, gradient, curvature and a variety of road events as well as current traffic conditions. This occurs while radar detects the speed and distance between the vehicle and others, and a forward-looking camera provides lane information."

Hyundai Kia  ICT Connected Shift System graph chart how it works The ICT Connected Shift System uses a variety of intelligent technologies to perform tasks.Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

Using these inputs, the system uses an artificial intelligence algorithm and shifts the gears accordingly. During testing, on curved roads the frequency of shifting was reduced 43 percent compared to vehicles without the system. It also reduced the frequency of brake usage by 11 percent.

Engine brakes are applied when an accelerator pedal is released when speed bumps are ahead, when downhill slopes emerge, and when the speed limit changes.

Currently, many vehicles feature a variety of drive modes that adjust shifting, suspension, and acceleration. This system is the first use of that technology with intelligent learning.

During the system development, the companies filed around 40 patents in South Korea and abroad.

The ICT Connected Shift System is just a step in the automakers' intelligent transmission technology development. They're working to develop the intelligence for the system to work with LTE and 5G communication to interact with traffic signals. However, this technology faces a major obstacle for use in daily driver scenarios because of the heavy investment required by municipalities to adopt that level of technology.

"Vehicles are evolving beyond simple mobility devices into smart mobility solutions," said Byeong Wook Jeon, Head of Intelligent Drivetrain Control Research Lab. "Even a traditional area of the automobile, such as the powertrain, is becoming a high-tech technology optimized for smart mobility through efforts to integrate ICT and artificial intelligence technologies."

The ICT Connected Shift System has not yet deployed to vehicles but the companies are planning to advance it in that direction as the technology evolves.

Hyundai will debut its new concept electric vehicle at the Geneva International Motor Show in March.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

Hyundai has a Prophecy and they will bring it to live in March during the Geneva International Motor Show in Switzerland. The new concept electric vehicle will debut on March 3.

The Korean automaker says that the concept car will deploy Hyundai's Sensuous Sportiness" design philosophy with "graceful curves flowing over broad rear flanks that provide excellent aerodynamics." Sounds sexy.

A boat-tail line created by the rear quarter panels have an integrated spoiler and pixel lamp taillights joining them on the back side of the car.

"Prophecy does not follow trends. It accentuates timeless beauty that will stand the test of time," said SangYup Lee, Head of Hyundai Global Design Center. "Its iconic design stands to expand Hyundai's design spectrum toward even broader horizons."

Hyundai says that the name "Prophecy" reflects the concept's purpose, defining it as the direction of future Hyundai designs including the future EV lineup.

Prophecy will be part of a larger reveal featuring additional information regarding the automaker's adoption of electric vehicle technology. Hyundai recently revealed plans to add 13 alternatively fueled vehicles to the company's lineup by 2022.