Hyundai Motor Group subsidiaries join hands to establish future autonomous logistics solution

By Park Sae-jin Posted : January 24, 2024, 16:08 Updated : January 24, 2024, 16:08
Photographed by Hwang Ji-hyun
[Photographed by Hwang Ji-hyun]

SEOUL -- 42dot, the autonomous driving solution wing of South Korea's Hyundai auto group, has forged a partnership with two other Hyundai group subsidiaries -- Hyundai Glovis, the logistics wing, and Hyundai Commercial, the finance wing -- in a bid to establish a future autonomous logistics solution for commercial operations.

42dot specializes in the development and operation of commercial autonomous vehicles. The company demonstrated a fleet of self-driving taxis in western Seoul in 2021. Currently, the autonomous driving wing of Hyundai operates self-driving buses around a 4.8-kilometer (2.9 miles) return route around Cheonggyecheon Stream that flows directly through the central Seoul area bustling with people and cars.

South Korea's logistics industry which stood at 232 trillion won ($173.2 billion) in 2022, is mainly recognized by quick small parcel delivery services that normally reach their destinations within two days. The nationwide quick delivery system is backed by scores of fulfillment centers, logistics centers equipped with refrigerating facilities for the delivery of fresh groceries, and workers who sort, load, and unload parcels at the centers.

While manned fulfillment centers require downtime so that workers can rest and maximize their efficiency, unmanned logistics centers operated by robots and autonomous vehicles can be run 24 hours a day. Coupang, the South Korean counterpart of Amazon, operates an automated fulfillment center near the southern city of Daegu. The pilot facility utilizes robots to pack, sort, and carry parcels inside the center which is about the size of a football field. According to the ecommerce giant, human employees' work stress has been reduced by 65 percent thanks to robot coworkers.

42dot said that the company signed a cooperation agreement with its brother companies -- Hyundai Glovis and Hyundai Commercial -- to jointly establish a logistics solution based on the know-how of the companies. 42dot will provide autonomous technologies while Hyundai Glovis will share its experience in the logistics industry, and Hyundai Commercial will fuse its financial services into the parcel delivery system solution.

Through the cooperation, a future logistics system solution capable of the storage, delivery, and management of parcels based on estimated customer demands. Autonomous technology will be added later to increase efficiency.

"We will provide a service that will satisfy everyone through the automation of parcel delivery services," 42dot head Song Chang-hyun said in a statement on January 24.
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