With a Nevada state released license, Kia is testing self-driving technology with Soul EV hoping that by 2030 it will bring fully autonomous Kias to the roads.
The latest technology has been revealed at CES 2016. KIA unravelled the Drive Wise brand, which stands for an enhanced driver assistance system (ADAS). Boasting features such as active cruise control or automatic braking, the Drive Wise brand will continue adding autonomous driving features making up an entirely self-driving vehicle.
Kia is testing self-driving technology with Soul EV, the Korean automaker strongly believing that by 2030, self-driving vehicles will hit the road. There’s hardly any major automaker at the moment that isn’t funneling funds into self-driving technology. A dream of the future, the self-driving vehicle that may pick us up from any given point and drive us to any given point without human intervention doesn’t sound bad at all. We are already witnessing partially autonomous vehicles in testing and they’re due on a large scale much sooner. Volvo, Tesla and General Motors are all planning to put the partly autonomous vehicles on the road sooner than 2020.
Kia isn’t slouching either. The first partly autonomous vehicles under the Drive Wise brand will be released by 2020. For now, the Kia Soul EV is specially equipped to test self-driving technology in a test-designated area.
In addition, the Korean automaker announced that by 2018 it will have funneled 2 billion dollars in the development of self-driving technology. With development plans on the fast track and the Nevada state released license, Kia has all the chances to catch up with competitors in this area.
Self-driving isn’t the only feature developed under the Drive Wise brand. New user interface ideas are also part of the big plan. For instance, Kia plans to develop the blind control feature. Demonstrated by Volkswagen or BMW, the feature used a fingerprint scanner to understand particularities of the driver. Based on each driver’s preferences, different modes are set to enable gesture control. Thus, the driver gets a personalized interface allowing for easy interaction with all the functions of the future self-driving vehicle.
While Kia is just testing this feature now, BMW has launched blind control with the 7 Series. Many questions are still being tackled by engineering teams working on the development of self-driving technology. Kia and other automakers are looking into safe deployment of this technology to customers.
Meanwhile, the idea that self-driving technology will curb traffic congestion, car accidents while propping mobility and being environmentally friendly is driving development further.
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