South Korea set to launch city-sized testing area for driverless cars this October

After allowing driverless cars to be tested throughout South Korea last November, and recently extending this to Samsung, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport has announced that K-City, a city-sized test bed for driverless cars, will launch in October.

The massive space will be used by tech companies and car manufacturers alike, such as Kia Motors, Hyundai, Samsung, SK Telecom, and Naver. The 360,000 square metre area will have bus lanes, expressways, autonomous parking zones, and more. The expressways will first be opened in October with the whole facility coming online in the first half of 2018. Once complete, this facility will offer an extensive testing ground for automated transport and associated developments.

Experts have suggested that this space could be even more useful for data purposes, for urban planning, car insurance, professional engineers, and it could also be used to help small tech start-ups.

Arguably this setup is very similar to Mcity in the USA, which is notably smaller in comparison but also designed to facilitate testing of autonomous vehicles. At a cost of $16.5 million and with a relatively fast rollout, K-City really shows the level of commitment the South Koreans are making towards driverless technology compared to the UK.

Sources: International Business Times, Business Korea, Korea Joongang Daily |Autonomous vehicle image: 2025AD

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