Kia Motors has been granted a licence by the US state of Nevada to carry out testing of its autonomous driving technologies on public roads for the first time in real-world conditions, an important part of its road-map for autonomous driving.
Alongside sister company Hyundai, Kia plans to introduce a range of partially-autonomous driving technologies to its model line-up including eco-friendly vehicles by 2020, and is aiming to bring its first fully-autonomous car to market by 2030. The initial stage of investment by Kia and Hyundai – totalling US$2 billion by 2018 – will enable the companies to develop new Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) technologies and employ a greater number of engineers.
Dr. Tae-Won Lim, Vice President, Central Advanced Research and Engineering Institute of Hyundai Motor Group, commented, “Thanks to this licence we will be able to accelerate the testing of our new autonomous driving technologies that are currently in the early stages of development, with particular emphasis on our alternative powertrain vehicles. We are confident that our latest innovations will ultimately make driving safer for all road users.”
These new technologies will join the suite of features already offered by Kia on its latest production vehicles, including the Sorento and the soon-to-be-launched all-new Optima and Sportage. These technologies are primarily designed to make driving safer and easier for Kia customers by identifying hazards at the earliest possible opportunity and allowing the driver – or the car – to take the appropriate reaction.
At all times, the new range of ADAS technologies can be circumvented by direct driver control, enabling closer control of the car as desired. By enabling cars to effectively communicate directly and independently with their surroundings, Kia will be able to make ADAS-equipped vehicles as safe and efficient as possible.