SEOUL -- South Korea's Hyundai auto group has unveiled a test buck for its airport pickup purpose built vehicle (PBV) concept based on an electric vehicle platform that can carry up to five people and their carriers. It has a door system that maximizes the opening width so that wheelchairs can quickly enter and exit.
PBVs are a ground-based eco-friendly mobility solution that provides customized spaces and services for passengers in transit. "User experience (UX) means everything about movement," Yang Hee-won in charge of the group's product integration development," said at a showcase event on September 16. "We will focus more on developing UX so that customers can have a valuable experience at every moment of riding a car."
The "reactive seat concept," jointly developed with the MIT Media Lab, allows the seat to detect the passenger's body and create a seat shape. By applying this technology to PBVs, bench-shaped seats can be transformed in various ways depending on the number of passengers and body types.
When the era of autonomous driving comes, Hyundai thinks the PBV market will grow. A mode conversion cockpit for autonomous vehicles enhances the convenience of passengers. Depending on drive, office, and relaxation modes, it will be changed to a form optimized for users such as lighting, seat angle, display, and operating system.
The group has vowed to enhance a domestic electric vehicle ecosystem through the establishment of a PBV production line. Kia would build a PBV electric vehicle plant at its production base in Hwaseong, some 40 kilometers (24.8 miles) southwest of Seoul, for commercial production in the second half of 2025. The PBV plant with an initial capacity is 100,000 units per year would expand its capacity to 150,000 units.
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