Hyundai Self-Driving Technology Could Reach Global Market by 2020

Mar 31, 2015 05:13 PM EDT | Matt Mercuro

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Hyundai is looking to commercialize autonomous driving capabilities in some of its vehicles by no later than 2020, according to Reuters.

The news comes as the South Korean-automaker attempts to play catch-up with rivals in a growing market.

Automakers like General Motors, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen and tech companies like Apple and Google are developing their own autonomous vehicles that don't need human interaction to complete commutes.

Some experts don't believe that anyone will have a self-driving car ready for the global market until early or mid-2020s, due to regulatory issues.

A number of automakers, Hyundai included, have already released driverless features in popular models like the Genesis, which is capable of being programmed to brake when a pedestrian steps out in front of the vehicle.

Nissan has also said it hopes to release a self-driving car by 2020 and Google already has a fleet of test cars driving around California and Nevada.

Google unveiled its prototype back in May, with the intention of releasing a mass-production vehicle by 2019.

"We've made some pretty exciting progress and at this point we're pretty convinced this technology is going to come to the market," said Chris Urmson, director of self-driving cars at Google, to The Globe and Mail.

A study released earlier this month by McKinsey & Company said that self-driving cars could generate billions in revenue from mobile internet services and products, even if people only spend a fraction of their time on the web.

The University of Michigan has even creating a city to test self-driving technologies, called "M City," which should be open this summer. The city will include intersections, traffic signs and sidewalks and pedestrians, cars and other obstacles will be simulated to test vehicle systems.

The study also showed how self-driving car could drop U.S. vehicle crashes by 90 percent and save $200 billion a year in fewer injuries and deaths.

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