Having disclosed its autonomous driving technology and roadmap leading up to the year 2030, a new milestone has been achieved by Kia Motors. The Korean automaker has been granted a special licence by the state of Nevada in the US. Here, Kia will be putting the Soul EV’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) to work in Beatty, Nevada.

Said licence allows for both Kia and its sister company, Hyundai to conduct tests of their autonomous driving tech on public roads. With this, both brands are hoping to perform trial-runs of its partial- and fully-autonomous driving technologies in real-world conditions – a key outline of its autonomous driving roadmap.

Vice president of the central advance research and engineering institute of Hyundai Motor Group, Dr. Tae-Won Lim said, “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.”

To recap, Kia plans to have partially-autonomous tech in its cars by 2020 and a fully-autonomous vehicle by 2030. A total of USD$2 billion (RM8.6 billion) will be invested into R&D and a production base for high-precision sensors, as well as the development of ADAS.

By 2020, Kia is looking to introduce partially-autonomous ADAS tech such as Traffic Jam Assist (TJA), Highway Autonomous Driving (HAD), Urban Autonomous Driving (UAD), Emergency Stop System (ESS), and Autonomous Valet Parking. These will join the current suite of features available in existing Kia models.

The brand is also putting its R&D resources into vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication. Combining this together with the ADAS systems, the brand hopes to introduce fully-autonomous vehicles by the year 2030.