Kia demonstrated an autonomous vehicle prototype to UK media visiting the HMG R&D centre in 2016

Kia demonstrated an autonomous vehicle prototype to UK media visiting the HMG R&D centre in 2016

Hyundai Motor Group said it planned to invest KRW41 trillion (US$34.65 billion) in mobility technology and strategic investments by 2025, as it boosts its attempts to catch up in the self-driving car race.

The plan, which Hyundai said encompassed autonomous, connected and electric vehicles, came after the company and two of its affiliates announced an investment of $1.6bn in a joint venture with US self-driving tech firm Aptiv, Reuters reported.

Hyundai's plan also received a boost from the South Korean government, which said on Tuesday that it plans to spend KRW1.7 trillion from 2021-27 to boost autonomous vehicle technology.

The government expects Hyundai to launch a nationwide service of fully autonomous cars to fleet customers in 2024 and the general public by 2027.

This push is part of a blueprint for future cars President Moon Jae-in announced at an event at Hyundai Motor's research centre near Seoul, Reuters said.

The government said it was conducting a feasibility study for its proposed funding boost which would include parts, systems and infrastructure. It said Korea lags behind in self-driving car software and key parts like sensors and chips, despite the country's advanced, fifth generation mobile data network.

South Korea also said it would prepare a regulatory and legal framework to ensure the safety of autonomous cars by 2024.

"We will actively transition from combustion-engine cars to future cars," Reuters quoted industry minister Sung Yoon-mo as saying at a media briefing on Tuesday.

The government also aims to lay the technological and legal groundwork for the demonstration of flying cars in 2025.

Hyundai Motor's executive vice chairman Euisun Chung has said the company is looking at developing flying cars, which could be commercialised ahead of the most advanced self-driving cars, Reuters noted.

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