The South Korean government said it would make available grants worth KRW1.1trn (US$1bn) over the next seven years to companies developing autonomous driving technology and related infrastructure, according to local reports.

The grants will be financed jointly by the ministries of trade, industry and energy; science and ICT; and land, infrastructure and transport plus the national police agency.

The aim of the government support is to help accelerate the commercialisation of self-driving car technologies, with local automakers and component manufacturers such as Hyundai Mobis expected to receive most of the funds and to play leading roles in the sector’s development.

The government wants Level-4 autonomous driving vehicles to be in use by the public by 2027 with vehicles able to drive themselves under limited conditions on public highways. 

A significant part of the government support will be made available for autonomous vehicle computing technologies, autonomous driving safety standards and road-vehicle communications infrastructure.

Hyundai Mobis has already stated its aim of having Level 3 autonomous driving technology commercially available by 2022 and is collaborating with global technology companies to develop more advanced Level 4 and Level 5 technologies.