We Debrief HD Hyundai CEO Cheolgon Choi

At the Consumer Electronics Show, HD Hyundai displayed futuristic concept equipment, but here we cover their current and immediately emerging digital offerings.


IRONPROS got time with HD Hyundai Construction Equipment CEO Cheolgon Choi at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2024. Hyundai had in their exhibit concept equipment to capture the imagination of futurists, and a teleoperation product that is expected to release to market yet this year. Here, we get Choi talking about Hyundai's data strategy.

IRONPROS: Sun-bae. Maeu gamsahabnida. What kind of research and development resources is Hyundai putting towards construction technology? Where will we see the impact of that in your offering in the market? Which problems faced by contractors and fleets are you prioritizing?

CHOI: Hyundai Construction Equipment is focusing on maximizing customer value through the machine control technology of "Intelligent Equipment" and the job site control solution, "Intelligent Site Management Solution."

Firstly, "Intelligent Equipment" is a technology package solution that advances equipment control technology from the current operator-assist level to the Autonomous stage by utilizing AI technology. Under the brand identity of "Comfort Intelligence," we have provided customers with smart and intelligent products through the integration with cutting-edge technologies. In 2015, we pioneered the release of technologies such as AAVM using Vision technology in the industry. In 2025, we plan to launch SAVM upgrade version of AAVM, which utilizes AI for awareness, perception, and control of personnel around the equipment. Additionally, we are on the verge of releasing Machine Control to enhance productivity and are actively developing unmanned technology. We are collaborating with various technology partners for this and are discussing collaborations with AI companies such as GRAVIS at this CES, anticipating that integrating AI reinforcement learning technology into our products will expedite the commercialization of unmanned equipment.

On the other hand, "Intelligent Site Management Solution" is a solution designed to efficiently operate autonomous equipment. We plan to release an upgraded X-Wise Xite by incorporating HD Hyundai Group's AI Core technology into the existing XiteCloud Platform, enabling drone surveying, site analysis, and fleet operations. You can explore this X-Wise Xite vision at our CES 2024 booth.

Hyundai Product Marketing Manager Eric Bae on the Twin Xite teleoperation product which is coming from Hyundai yet this year, according to company sources.

IRONPROS: Now, you are working on a teleoperation product. Why should fleet owners prefer this OEM product to aftermarket teleoperation technologies they can add? How will Hyundai distinguish itself here?

CHOI: Currently, there is not a high demand for remote control from customers, so only some manufacturers or aftermarket companies are providing solutions. However, with the increasing trend of remote work and the growing demand for safety, it is expected that the market size will rapidly expand. In response to this, equipment manufacturing companies, including Hyundai, are making continuous efforts to adapt to this technology.

The remote control technology provided by aftermarket has clear limitations in terms of equipment control and functional implementation compared to solutions directly provided by manufacturers. Especially considering the additional value that equipment manufacturers can offer, a shift towards solutions directly provided by manufacturers is expected in the future.

Hyundai Construction Equipment, with its high-level driver support functions derived from its inherent competitiveness in advanced technologies like AI and equipment integrity enhancement, is expected to take the lead in remote control technology as customer demand increases. At this CES, we are currently demonstrating Smart remote control with SAVM and a transparent bucket. In the future, we plan to apply Hyundai X-Agent technology, which is capable of recognizing the surroundings, issuing warnings when necessary, incorporating features like Active Stop, and learning and adapting to the driver's work characteristics for personalized assistance.

IRONPROS: Connected construction equipment generates a tremendous amount of data. How are Hyundai dealers and users accessing this technology to improve their business?

CHOI: One of the primary applications of current Connectivity is to remotely diagnose the status or issues of customer equipment and take appropriate measures, thereby increasing equipment uptime and minimizing downtime. Hyundai Construction Equipment, through the Hi-CARE Center, analyzes and filters data, sending relevant actions to dealers based on the database.

The AI Fleet Management platform, X-Wise Xite, introduced at CES by HD Hyundai, consolidates data detected by sensors from various equipment. It aims to enhance safety and productivity in equipment and site management by preventing risks in the field and eliminating inefficiencies in equipment and site operations.

Through such technological platforms, it is anticipated that data will enhance customer business value in terms of uptime, safety, and productivity.

IRONPROS: What is the vision for construction equipment data and interoperability with various telematics and machine control software? 

Telematics data exchange between different manufacturers' products is being standardized through the AEMP 2.0 protocol, and HD Hyundai Construction Equipment's Hi MATE is also addressing various customer telematics platform usage requirements through APIs based on the AEMP protocol.

Currently, there is no standardization of data protocols for control-related items and differentiated smart features among OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) like Machine Control. However, the construction industry has been establishing protocol standards through ISO 19650. In the future, Hyundai Construction Equipment also plans to adapt to equipment data and control software requirements based on these protocols.

Furthermore, through technical development collaborations with major smart construction solution providers, Hyundai Construction Equipment aims to pursue open innovation. This approach will ensure that customers can fully utilize smart features of equipment like MG/MC, even when choosing various platforms, promoting flexibility and interoperability.

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