Mando, a global auto parts manufacturer of the Halla Group, announced that it acquired an autonomous vehicle testing permit in the state of California, becoming the first Korean automobile company with the license, and the second Korean-based company (after Samsung Electronics).

With the acquisition of the autonomous driving permit, Mando expects that its autonomous driving platform, Hockey, which the company is developing independently, will advance even more quickly. In addition, the company hopes that Mando Innovations Silicon Valley (MISV), an R&D center it opened in Silicon Valley last May, will expand technological exchanges and collaborations with global companies in the area, in addition to finding and nurturing promising startup companies to maximize synergy in the field of autonomous driving technology.

A Mando's official stated that the company's objective in autonomous driving technology is to create a "Level 4 (complete autonomous driving) platform" based on technologies independently developed by the company, which will enable Mando safety systems to be effectively integrated into autonomous vehicles.

Hockey, an autonomous vehicle featuring sensors independently developed by Mando, received an autonomous driving permit from the Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport in February 2017. Putting most of its effort to develop key future automobile technologies, Mando decided to establish Next M, a technology institute in Pangyo Complex 2 in Korea, last May, in addition to signing an MOU regarding autonomous driving technology with a Korean software company, Naver Labs.