$2 Billion investment works toward full self-driving car by 2030.
Kia is jumping on the autonomous bandwagon, announcing its plans to develop self-driving technology for 2020 and beyond. The Korean brand will invest $2 billion USD in autonomous technology development by 2018, and plans to introduce partially autonomous tech by 2020. By 2030, Kia will launch its first fully autonomous vehicle.
The initial investment will allow Kia to develop the first of its new Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) technologies and bring onboard a number of engineers. The ADAS family of technologies, which Kia says is still in its infancy, will eventually include sensors that will allow a car to recognize other vehicles and hazards like poor road conditions, assess a situation and make decisions based on data from multiple sensors, and quickly react to the situation. Because ADAS will require many different sensors, the investment will allow Kia to “secure localized knowledge and establish a production-base” for the sensors needed to make autonomous driving possible.
“Fully autonomous vehicles are still some way off, and a great deal of research and rigorous product testing will need to be carried out to make the ‘self-driving car’ a reality,” Tae-Won Lim, vice president of Hyundai Motor Group’s Central Advanced Research and Engineering Institute, said in a release. “Kia is still in the early stages of developing its own technologies, and we are confident that the latest innovations both partially and fully autonomous will ultimately make driving safer for everyone.”
The technologies in development for the 2020 target date include Highway Driving Assist, which combines lane keep assist and adaptive cruise control systems to drive the car on the highway. The system will be able to overtake slower cars automatically and keep to the speed limit the thanks to GPS data. Parking assist technologies are also in development, including a Remote Advanced Parking Assist System (RAPAS), which will be able to park the car at the push of a button on the key fob.
By 2030, Kia plans to introduce its first fully autonomous vehicle. This car will rely heavily on vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications, as well as the various sensors developed for ADAS. Kia isn’t the only manufacturer aiming for 2020. Both Nissan and Toyota are targeting that year to make autonomous technologies commercially available.