The Kearny Mesa Hyundai staff, like lots of people around San Diego and Poway, will be glued to our televisions six months from now. That’s when the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics start in South Korea. We like the bobsledding, downhill skiing, and the luge as much as anyone, but we have another reason to tune in: the latest Hyundai cars.  

That isn’t just because South Korea is home turf for Hyundai Motor Corporation (the company is based in Seoul, a couple of hours west of the Olympic village). It’s because self-driving Hyundai cars will be a fixture of the games, ferrying athletes around the area’s many Olympic venues.

There are a handful of challenges here, including winding roads, mountainous terrain, and snow. Any of these factors alone have the potential to cause problems for the sensors used by self-driving cars; combine them and you’ve got one heck of a problem. In collaboration with the South Korean government, Hyundai is incorporating HD maps with resolutions to 10 centimeters (just shy of four inches), which are the best currently available.

If the challenges are real, the rewards are also enticing. This would be a chance for Hyundai cars to shine on the world stage using technology first shown at this year’s CES on the Hyundai Ioniq. Rather than a mere proof of concept, this is a real-world test. If it succeeds, it could be the best case we’ve yet seen for SAE Level 4 technology.

New Hyundai cars at Kearny Mesa Hyundai aren’t self-driving… yet. Then again, driving yourself should be fun, and in a car like the Hyundai Ioniq, it certainly is. See what we have to offer by visiting 4797 Convoy St in San Diego, CA today!