Autonomous vehicles are the hot topic currently with every manufacturer wanting to get in on the hype train.
This is no different with Kia who today announced their significant investment into autonomous driving technologies. By 2020, Kia plans to introduce a range of partially-autonomous driving technologies to its model line-up, and is aiming to bring its first fully-autonomous car to market by 2030.
Vice-President Tae-Won Lim commented that “fully-autonomous vehicles are still some way off, and a great deal of research and rigorous product testing will need to be carried out to make the ‘self-driving car’ a reality”.
Kia’s $2 billion investment will enable the company to develop its new Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) and will employ a greater number of engineers. In order for the ADAS system to function technologies across three distinct categories must grow to maturity to allow the vehicle to drive autonomously
- Recognition’ – the development of new sensors to detect other vehicles and hazards, read the road ahead and identify poor driving conditions
- Judgment’ – advanced computing systems allowing the car to make decisions based on the information gathered by ADAS sensors
- Control’ – active electronic and mechanical systems allowing the vehicle to carry out the decisions taken by the autonomous technology in any given situation
Among the new technologies currently under development is Highway Driving Assist (HDA), which combines a Lane Guidance System (LGS) and Advanced Smart Cruise Control (ASCC). HDA is designed to automatically maintain a safe distance from cars in front while keeping the car in its lane on the highway and following local speed limits. The system will also facilitate safe overtaking on freeways.
Another interesting technology under development is the Traffic Jam Assist (TJA), will help make light work of heavy congestion by tracking the vehicle in front during moderate-to-highly congested traffic conditions. Using TJA, drivers will find it easier – and more relaxing – to navigate traffic jams on often-congested roads.