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Hyundai Motor tees up flying cars, electric vehicles with $52 billion investment

Hyundai and Kia's parent automaker isn't messing around when it comes to future transportation.

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Hyundai has big things planned.

Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

For automakers, it's somewhat of an arms race; the world has become a battle of bringing advanced technology to market first as self-driving carselectric vehicles and even flying cars flirt with, or have become, a mainstream reality. To the tune of $52 billion, Hyundai Motor will be ready.

The South Korean automaker, which owns Hyundai and Kia, said on Wednesday it will shovel the massive sum of investment in numerous areas of transportation. This is an effort to transition to a "frontrunner in the future mobility industry," the automaker said. Specifically, it wants to trade the name "automaker" for "smart mobility solution provider" come 2025.

That strategy will come with two areas: one is the traditional automobile, while the other area includes things like flying cars (personal air vehicles, as Hyundai called it), robotics and last-mile mobility. When it comes to the latter portion, Hyundai said it will combine products with services as to flesh out an ecosystem of mobility in the coming decade.

While details on the future parts of the business are still murky, the automaker offered up a lot of insight for the traditional side of the business. Namely, the company will still be in the business of producing cars with internal-combustion engines, but there will be a new focus on maximizing efficiency and making money on these cars.

All the while, major resources are headed to battery-electric cars. Hyundai set a goal of selling 670,000 electric and fuel-cell vehicles combined annually come 2025. EVs will ride on a new scalable architecture starting in 2024, and the automaker wants to target ultra-affordable models at younger car buyers first to build economies of scale. Even cars that don't go all electric will likely be electrified in some form by 2030, the company added.

On the technology front, specifically autonomous cars, Hyundai plans for a self-driving platform to bow in 2022 with mass production scheduled for 2024. By 2025, every one of the automaker's cars will offer some sort of Level 2 and 3 self-driving capability, though on the SAE scale of autonomy, that's far from fully driverless.

Clearly, $52 billion can buy an automaker a lot of research and development and engineering.

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