Hyundai Motor Group and NTU enter collaboration to advance electric vehicles

The Hyundai Motor Group and the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) have announced that they will be entering a collaborative endeavour, conducting cutting-edge research projects to refine the manufacturing of electric vehicles (EVs).

The agreement will see the two industry-leading organisations conduct a series of research projects aimed at creating advanced solutions for the manufacturing of electric vehicles, in addition to developing enhancements to the future of mobility. The collaboration was signed earlier this month by Professor Lam Khin Yong, the Senior Vice President of NTU, and Yong Bum Jung, the Senior Vice President of Hyundai Motor Group.

The partnership comes nearly a year after the initial announcement of the projects in October 2020 during the virtual groundbreaking ceremony for the Hyundai Motor Group Innovation Centre in Singapore (HMGICS), in which NTU was revealed as the first research partner for the HMGICS initiative.

How will the research improve electric vehicles?

The novel research projects will be concentrated on industry 4.0 technologies, developing innovative solutions that can transform traditional car manufacturing facilities into world-leading hubs for engineering electric vehicles, a significant step in creating the necessary infrastructure for fuelling the green transition.

The initiative will comprise four pilot projects on Artificial Intelligence (AI), with additive manufacturing (3D printing) planned to be investigated when the initial stage of the partnership starts later this month.

One of the projects will be focused on designing machine learning algorithms for vehicle image processing, which will help to advance the quality of vehicles powered entirely by batteries (Battery Electric Vehicles). The implementation of an AI-based image processing sensor will aid in identifying any anomalies and defects throughout the manufacturing process, helping to ensure that the final product contains the most optimal levels of safety and reliability.

A further investigation will aim to infuse 3D printing into the manufacturing of electric vehicles; here, the team will examine how proficient 3D printers are at creating intricate automotive components, which will support the initiatives’ smart manufacturing vision, where consumers can order and customise aspects of their car.

Professor Subra Suresh, the NUT President, said: “The partnership between NTU and Hyundai Motor Group provides one more example of how our close collaboration with industry plays an important role in developing relevant solutions to address real-world issues. This is in line with the NTU 2025 strategic plan, which aims to address some of the grand challenges facing humanity.

“This collaboration with Hyundai Motor Group will build on NTU’s core strengths in areas such as additive manufacturing, AI, autonomous and electric vehicles, and big data to bring about benefits to the automotive industry, Singapore, and the global society.”

Youngcho Chi, the President & Chief Innovation Officer of Hyundai Motor Group, said: “HMGICS aims to build an ecosystem for the future mobility industry based on open innovation. We are going to strengthen collaboration with NTU and develop advanced solutions to revolutionise the future mobility value chain in the future.”

The HMGCIS is an open research facility that is estimated to be constructed by the end of 2022 at Singapore’s Jurong Innovation District; it will be situated in close proximity to the NTU Smart Campus, a living testbed for state-of-the-art digital and tech-enabled solutions.

Further aims of the partnership

An additional aspect of the collaboration will see the organisations strive to identify and nurture future talent for the automotive industry. They will do this by running a series of 3D printing competitions where students can utilise some of their innovative technologies, with the aim being to spark an interest in the manufacturing of electric vehicles, helping the companies to cultivate the next generation of automotive experts. The students and researchers from NTU will also receive educational seminars from industry leaders to enhance their knowledge and skills.

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