Google, Ford, Mercedes-Benz and Toyota are just some of the companies vowing to have autonomous vehicles on the road by 2020.
Kia is going to take more time, but it wants the auto industry and the public alike to know that it's going to be a player in the self-driving car space as well. On Monday, the Korean automaker announced that it plans to have its first "partially-autonomous driving technologies" ready by 2020, with its first fully-driverless car on the road by 2030.
Although that's a much more conservative target than many of its peers diving headfirst into the space, the Korean auto manufacturer wants to try and perfect some of its driver-assist technologies in the meantime. In fact, Digital Trends reports that Kia will invest $2 billion through 2018 to put such systems into production.
The assist features that Kia is developing reportedly include a "Highway Driving Assist," "Traffic Jam Assist" and "Remote Advanced Parking Assist System." The first aforementioned feature will allow drivers to automatically maintain a safe following distance on the highway in addition to obeying speed limits, sort of as a combination between a lane-keeping system and adaptive cruise control.
When roads clog up and essentially have you riding your break, the "Traffic Jam Assist" will allow drivers to slowly inch ahead automatically. Meanwhile the "Remote Advanced Parking Assist System" technology will have drivers pushing a button on their key fob, enabling the vehicle to park itself without any assistance from the driver.
Kia's thought process is simple — it believes trying to perfect these assist technologies will pave the way for the best possible fully-autonomous car that the brand can deliver by 2030.