South Korea’s government is also on board, unveiling more funding for autonomous vehicle technology with President Moon Jae-in declaring on Tuesday that he expected self-driving cars to account for half of new cars on the country’s roads by 2030.
Moon Jae-in said Korean companies will invest 60 trillion won ($50 billion) over the next decade into the future of transportation.
In a 45-page report on future automotive technology, the government acknowledged South Korea lags in some key areas necessary for self-driving cars such artificial intelligence, sensors and logic chips.
“Hyundai has to buy technology from someone else because it lacks software technology. Even though it has a lot of cash, this could become a financial burden if its earnings deteriorate,” Esther Yim, an analyst at Samsung Securities, said.
Other analysts noted that the prospects for self-driving cars are quite murky.
General Motors’ self-driving unit, Cruise, said in July it was delaying the commercial deployment of cars past its target of 2019 as tech firms and automakers acknowledge it will take more time and money than they had expected to make autonomous vehicles safe for unrestricted use on public roads.
South Korea’s government said it would prepare a regulatory and legal framework for autonomous cars and the safety questions they pose by 2024.
It is also aiming to lay the technological and legal groundwork for demonstrations of flying cars by 2025. Hyundai Motor’s executive vice chairman Euisun Chung said last month that the company is looking at developing flying cars.
Hyundai has also received much government backing for hydrogen fuel cell cars, with Moon calling hydrogen power the “future bread and butter” of Asia’s No. 4 economy and declaring himself an ambassador for the technology.