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Hyundai, Plus Team Up on Self-Driving Class 8 FCEV Truck

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An autonomous Hyundai Xcient Fuel Cell truck on display at ACT EXPO 2024 in Las Vegas. (Keiron Greenhalgh/Transport Topics)

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Hyundai Motor Co. and autonomous driving software specialist Plus unveiled what they say is the first Level 4 autonomous Class 8 hydrogen fuel cell electric truck in the U.S.

The collaboration equips the South Korean automaker’s Xcient Fuel Cell truck with Plus SuperDrive Level 4 self-driving technology.

Level 4 self-driving technology is considered fully autonomous driving, although a human can still request control. The truck can handle the majority of driving situations independently.

Hyundai said the truck is undergoing initial assessments in the U.S.

The truck was showcased for the first time at the ACT Expo 2024 conference in Las Vegas, 12 months after the original Xcient Fuel Cell tractor debuted at ACT 2023.

Powered by two 90-kilowatt hydrogen fuel cell systems and a 350 kW e-motor, the Class 8 6×4 fuel cell electric model offers a range of more than 450 miles per charge even when fully loaded, the partners said.

Plus’s SuperDrive solution is being deployed in the U.S., Europe and Australia.

ACT also saw Volvo Trucks unveil its first production-ready autonomous Class 8 tractor, with the flagship VNL model incorporating Aurora Innovation’s automated driving technology.

And before the conference got underway, Daimler Truck unwrapped plans May 8 for a Level 4 autonomous, battery-electric Freightliner eCascadia demonstration truck.

Hyundai’s future clean logistics transportation enters a new phase with the arrival of 30 #hydrogen XCIENT Fuel Cell trucks in the U.S. Learn more about our NorCal ZERO project: #Hyundai #HydrogenSociety @AirResources

— Hyundai Worldwide (@Hyundai_Global) May 16, 2024

Meanwhile, Hyundai on May 21 launched HTWO Logistics, a consultancy for sustainable logistics solutions.

Initially, HTWO is set to be a partnership for benchmarking sustainable logistics solutions through the use of the Xcient in and around Hyundai Motor Group Metaplant America, a $5 billion electric-vehicle battery cell manufacturing plant. The facility is expected to begin operations in the fourth quarter.

“Our clean logistics operation in Georgia deals specifically with reducing the carbon emissions of inbound and outbound transportation around our new manufacturing facility,” Glenn Clift, executive director at logistics provider Glovis America, Hyundai’s partner in HTWO Logistics.

“Through HTWO Logistics, we will partner with Hyundai Motor in establishing a value chain of clean hydrogen production, supply, refueling and zero-emission vehicles to handle the logistics, creating a hydrogen mobility ecosystem in and around Georgia’s Metaplant,” said Clift.

Robby Hamby of Bridgestone Americas and Ken Eggen of Wolf River Express share how fleets should acquire the right tire monitoring tools for data collection. Tune in above or by going to  

The companies envision producing a comprehensive suite of solutions to maximize carbon-emissions reduction. The insights from the project are then expected to be replicated globally at Hyundai operations, followed by HTWO working with partners around the world, a spokesman told Transport Topics. Both the self-driving and logistics developments are part of a vision Hyundai is promoting with hydrogen at the center of vast societal change.

“Our HTWO brand’s expanding role reflects Hyundai’s unique reach beyond mobility into an integrated hydrogen value chain to lead the global energy transition,” Ken Ramirez, head of Hyundai’s global commercial vehicle and hydrogen business, told reporters at ACT Expo 2024.

“We are like no other energy company, with roots deeply grounded in mobility. And we are like no other mobility company, with branches reaching so far into energy,” he added. “Our mission has always been clear: leverage our strengths in both mobility and energy sectors to realize our vision for a hydrogen society.”

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