Hyundai Motor Group announced the launch of the first development model of a lunar exploration rover in collaboration with six Korean aerospace research institutes.
In addition, the Group joined forces with organizations such as the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI), Electronics and Telecommunication Research Institute (ETRI), and Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) in July 2022 to form a consultative body for the development of mobility solutions for lunar exploration.
After discussions with stakeholders, the group has set the direction for the mobility development model for lunar exploration. It aims to complete the initial test unit by the second half of 2024 and develop a launch-ready model by 2027.
This project aligns with Hyundai Motor Group's goal to expand the scope of human mobility experiences, said Yong Wha Kim, executive vice president and head of the R&D Planning & Coordination Center of Hyundai Motor and Kia.
The lunar rover will utilize Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Corporation's advanced robotics and autonomous driving technologies, including camera and LiDAR systems, propulsion systems, charging components, and Hyundai Rotem's robot manufacturing technology.
The upper part of the rover will consist of scientific payloads for lunar surface exploration, while the lower part will house the Group's components.
The Advisory Board envisions that the lower part of the rover will function as a mobility platform, supporting an upper part equipped with advanced technologies for lunar surface resource excavation and exploration.
The goal is to create a general-purpose mobility platform capable of carrying a variety of payloads.
Once developed, the rover is expected to land near the lunar south pole area to conduct scientific missions.
Weighing approximately 70 kg, the solar-powered, autonomous mobility unit will undergo performance testing in a lunar-like environment before being sent to the lunar surface.
The Group remains committed to providing innovative mobility solutions through robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), and autonomous driving technologies.