For the first time level 4 autonomous driving has been achieved in a fuel cell electric vehicle. With level 0 being no automation and level 5 being a driver-less car able to operate on any road in any conditions a human driver could negotiate, level 4 is considered “high automation”. A level 4 autonomous vehicle can operate without human input or oversight but only under select conditions, typically highway conditions.
Recently, five Hyundai fuel cell electric vehicles completed a self-driven 118 mile journey from Seoul to Pyeongchang. Not at limited speed on domestic roads, but at the speed limit of 68 mph on public highways. The level 4 autonomous vehicles equipped with 5G network technology executed lane changes, passing maneuvers, and navigated toll gates.
These self-driving vehicles use an array of cameras, radar, LiDAR (laser sensors), and GPS to identify their location and be able to navigate through obstacles like toll gates. Autonomous driving processes a high volume of data, which requires a lot of power. The fuel cell electric model is an ideal choice since it produces electricity through a reaction between hydrogen and oxygen in the on-board fuel cell stack.