Kia Soul EV Autonomous Car-01

Latest to jump on the self-driving bandwagon is Kia. The company plans to have partially-autonomous technology in its cars by 2020, followed by a fully-autonomous vehicle by 2030. By 2018, a total of USD$2 billion will have been invested into research and development and the establishment of a production base for high precision sensors.

In further detail, the investment mentioned will be utilised to develop the preliminary Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) technologies – autonomous tech that can still be bypassed through driver intervention. The brand says that it is currently working closely with suppliers and associated companies to innovate technologies across three categories.

These categories include, ‘recognition,’ which focuses on the development of sensors that can detect vehicles and hazards, study the road ahead and recognise poor driving conditions. The second category, ‘judgment,’ will centre on advanced computing systems in which the car can make decisions on its own, based on info provided by those sensors.

The final category, ‘control,’ will centre upon the development of active electronic and mechanical systems that will allow the vehicle to carry out the decisions made by the system, in all situations. These three categories are part of the brand’s greater goal to develop a fully-autonomous vehicle by 2030.

Kia Optima Steering-01

Meanwhile, the partially-autonomous ADAS technologies to be introduced by 2020 includes, Highway Driving Assist (HDA), a combination of the Lane Guidance System (LGS) and Advanced Smart Cruise Control (ASCC). It will help maintain the car’s distance, keep it in lane on the road, adhere to speed limits with the help of the navigation system and even help overtake other cars.

Traffic Jam Assist (TJA) is similar to HDA, it tracks vehicles in front, in moderate-to-heavy congestions. An enhanced version of the Smart Parking Assist System (SPAS) and a driver-less key-enabled Remote Advance Parking Assist System (RAPAS) is also under development. The new innovations will join Kia’s range of tech, already available in existing Kia models.

In 2030, the brand’s first autonomous car is expected to hit the market. During which, the brand says that it will put its research & development resources on vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication.