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A WON-WON situation: Hyundai-Kia plans to commercialize autonomous vehicles in next five years

Published: March 31, 2016 | Seoul

Hyundai Motor and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors are aiming to commercialize self-driving cars within five years. In order to do so, they will invest over 2 trillion WON (US$1.68 billion), and make every effort to develop various autonomous driving technologies, including the autonomous driving system in congested areas, and hire more experts.

Another important source suggests that, the government will also invest nearly one trillion WON in next-generation growth engine industries, such as 5G, self-driving cars, wearables, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and intelligent robots.

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In particular, Hyundai Motors group seeks to domestically produce high-precision sensors, which are currently monopolized by some component producers, including Bosch, in the recognition sector, which figures out surroundings through various sensors. It plans to improve its recognition technologies by expanding the application of high-definition cameras with diverse functions and developing advanced recognition systems with more than two sensors.

It is also focusing on hiring more experts in driverless vehicles. The group now independently operates an intelligent safety research team at Uiwang R&D Center and an ADAS research team at Nanyang R&D Center to develop self-driving technologies. It also has a separate office in Silicon Valley in the U.S. to strengthen information gathering about autonomous driving and artificial intelligence.

Preparations for test driving, the prelude stage of driverless vehicle commercialization, is now proceeding well. Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors submitted their applications for autonomous test drives of the Tucson fuel cell vehicle and the Soul electric vehicle to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT) on March 14.

Previously, the MOLIT started receiving applications for test drives of autonomous cars from February 12 and the Hyundai Genesis got a license for a test drive and license plate on March 7 for the first time.

Source: Business Korea

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