Self-driving cars soon will hit the road in South Korea as the country seeks to overtake other nations that have sped ahead with automated driving technology.
Seoul national university professor Seo Seung-woo says a self-driving car developed by his team will start roaming Seoul streets early next year thanks to a revised law that took effect Tuesday.
His team has been testing automated driving inside the university’s campus with a Hyundai genesis sedan outfitted with sensors and cameras. The vehicle drove more than 10,000 kilometers without incident in the past two years but could not leave the campus because of regulations.
The new law allows automated cars to travel public roads around the country. Eight self-driving cars, including those of Seo’s team, are registered with the country’s transport ministry and have been test driving in limited conditions.
Seo unveiled two upgraded self-driving vehicles that can navigate narrow streets and identify road signs and traffic lights. One of them will be tested in traffic after it is certified by the government.
South Korea has been slow to introduce driverless cars in public roads while other countries have been testing automated driving for public transport, such as taxis and public buses, in real traffic conditions.