Hyundai to develop fully autonomous cars by 2030

The South Korean manufacturer will begin by developing highly autonomous vehicle technology by 2020, having earlier this year announced R&D investments of $9.75 billion over the next five years for future driverless car technology.

South Korea's largest auto company will make fully autonomous cars available to the public by 2030, a senior executive has said.

Hyundai Group will develop highly autonomous vehicle technology by 2020 and fully autonomous vehicle technology by 2030, Kwon Moon-sik, vice chairman for R&D at Hyundai and Kia, said during the second annual Heart Dream consumer event in Seoul on Tuesday.

With Hyundai Motor Group to elaborate in detail on its R&D budget for the technology, it earlier this year announced R&D investments of $9.75 billion over the next five years for future driverless car technology. Included in that amount is $2 billion on R&D to Kia Motors -- the country's second largest car maker and affiliate of Hyundai Motor's sister company -- over the next three years to develop the first of its new Advanced Driver Assistance system (ADAS) technologies and to recruit more engineers.

Hyundai Motor Group organised the Heart Dream event at its Namyang R&D centre in South Korea to improve consumer relations and show off new cutting-edge technologies.

"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," said Lim Tae-won, vice president of Hyundai Motor's Central Advanced Research and Engineering Institute. "Kia is still in the early stages of developing its own technologies, and we are confident that the latest innovations -- both partially and fully autonomous -- will ultimately make driving safer for everyone."

Hyundai Motor Group said that it is focusing Kia's R&D resources on vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communications. The new technologies will join the suite of technologies already offered by Kia on its latest production vehicles in many of its global markets, including the Sorento and the soon-to-be-launched all-new Optima and Sportage.

The Hyundai Genesis EQ900, which will be launched next month, will come equipped with some of the new autonomous driving technology, such as an advanced highway driving assist (HDA) system, which has been described in the local press as "partial autonomous" technology focused on the freeway.

The HDA system includes three technologies integral to autonomous driving: Advanced smart cruise control (ASCC), automatic emergency braking (AEB), and lane keep assist (LKA).

The systems collectively cull data from an array of active sensors, and feed them to the vehicle's onboard computer, making it possible for the vehicle to autonomously maintain its distance from objects and other cars, and its position in the lane. The systems also permit hands-free overtaking or passing of other cars when necessary.