The Consumer Eletronics Show 2016 is underway and we have already seen and heard a great amount of good news – one of them was delivered by the Executive Vice President of Hyundai Motor Group, Seung Ho Hwang, who claims that self-driving cars will become a thing by 2030. That statement was not based on wishful thinking alone, but instead was made because the automotive company Kia is actually committing to producing 100% autonomous vehicles with a set target for the year 2030.
The idea has been played around with for a distinctively long time now, every year coming up with another design concept of what an automated vehicle should look and be like. However, putting a time tag on such a gigantic thing in technological evolution is something not many manufacturers have been so keen on doing.
Naturally, this would change the way we see transportation and traffic altogether. Kia says that the vehicles they’re working on do not require any kind of input from a human – not even his presence. By making use of advanced sensors that are able to map a 3D representation of everything around the vehicle, as well as incredibly fast processors that can calculate speeds and distances of obstacles, a car can be capable of functioning completely autonomously. Then the only commands the driver would have to give the vehicle would be the destination point and adjust preferences.
Google has also been focusing on developing self-driving vehicles and has even been running tests on some prototype cars the past two years. Kia, however, claims that with the heavy focus that’s recently been invested in autonomous vehicle technology and the plans to invest up to $2 billion this year in this direction should be able to commercialize part-autonomous cars by the year 2020.
Both the partially autonomous vehicles and the fully independent models slated for release in 2030 will be made possible thanks to what the company calls “Drive Wise” – a technology that will replace the current advanced driver assistance system that the cars use as a platform.
Kia has already managed to get a test model approved for public road testing in Nevada, US. This is a car that is based on the current Kia Soul model and is said to be capable of parking itself and is also equipped with advanced cruise-control.
Naturally, in the years that we have until autonomous driving can become a reality, there are countless of limitations all these manufacturers have to get past. Besides ensuring that self-driving cars function properly regardless of the scenario they’re put in, there is a large amount of legislative-related issues that also have to be handled.
Seung Ho Hwang has also said, during the CES 2016 conference, that the best approach to be had regarding the advancement of self-driving car technology is so start it slow and turn it into a gradual process. Automating some more basic functions first, then slowly implementing them together.
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