Published: December 15, 2015 | Nevada
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. Kia – together with sister company Hyundai – hopes to experiment with partially- and fully-autonomous driving technologies in real-world conditions, an important part of its roadmap for autonomous driving.
According to Hyundai’s statement, the carmaker obtained licenses on Dec. 11 for a total of four autonomous vehicles ? two Tucson hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and two Soul electric cars ? to test-drive on the highways of Nevada.
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. The investment will lead to the introduction of next-generation smart vehicles in the coming year.
The company said the standards for autonomous car licenses in the state of Nevada are higher than for the rest of the U.S., requiring a technology presentation and demonstration. With the license, Hyundai became the second passenger carmaker to receive a driving endorsement from Nevada, following Audi.
A total of five companies including Hyundai and Google have been given licenses from the Silver State.
Four other states issue licenses for autonomous cars. In California, where the requirements for test-drive licenses are relatively low, a total of nine companies including Nissan, Honda and Tesla have been test-driving their self-driving cars on the roads.
Those vehicles permitted this time mount the latest technologies including traffic jam assist, highway driving assist and narrow passage assist. Converged with information coming from various sensors, they can change lanes automatically, a technological advancement from the carmaker demonstrated during the March Seoul Motor Show.
Hyundai aims to develop highly advanced autonomous cars by 2020 and fully autonomous ones by 2030. Following the highway test, the company will expand its test drives into urban streets with traffic lights, crosswalks and passengers sometime next year.
Source: Korean Times