Kia recently began testing driverless car technology, making it one of the first brands to invest in this exciting new take on mobility. Testing began in Nevada in a brightly-marked Kia Soul EV just after the state gave the automaker the green light for testing. This could be a sign that we may see driverless cars on the road in the near future.
According to the NY Daily News, the Kia driverless car was a $2 billion investment, with a focus on autonomous vehicle technology and researching. The brand is hoping to develop its Advanced Driver Assistance System by 2018. Though Kia had some difficulty getting state approval beforehand, largely due to safety concerns, Nevada gave the go-ahead late last year.
“Nevada’s less stringent regulations and willingness to accommodate businesses has helped it become an attractive place to test those technologies,” said Fortune Magazine’s Kirsten Korosec. “In 2011, Nevada became the first state to pass legislation to let companies operate autonomous vehicles on public roads, largely due to Google’s lobbying efforts there. It’s now one of just four states, plus Washington DC, that has laws regulating autonomous vehicle operations.”
Kia’s long-term goal is to have partially autonomous cars road-ready by 2020 and fully-autonomous cars by 2030. Although there is no word yet what the cars will look like or what the specs will be, the Kia Soul EV is doing just fine navigating courses and steering just like every other car on the road. Once the red tape clears, autonomous vehicles will be the future of mobility.