K-city is the world’s largest self-driving testing ground

  • Mcity is the first major project of a part-governmental, part-academic and part-commercial partnership and has investments from companies like Nissan, Toyota, Ford, GM, Honda, Stata Farm, Verizon and Xerox. Image credit: University of Michigan
  • Korean automaker, Hyundai is testing Ioniq for more affordable car tech and electronics to challenge the general consensus that autonomous cars of the future will be mostly used as shared mobility services and give the community the opportunity to private ownership. Image credit: YouTube
Date:10 May 2017 Author: Jorika Moore Tags:, , ,

Self-driving is happening – more so than ever before. And with all the scrutiny it’s been hard to come by government permits to test these vehicles in the real world.

South Korea is hoping to solve this issue. According to Business Korea the country’s government is constructing the world’s largest test bed, called K-city for self-driving cars.

The 360 000 squared meter facility for autonomous driving is currently under construction and will open the first half of it’s numerous environments for autonomous testing in October of this year. The rest is scheduled to be ready for use early next year.

Business Korea reports a number of Korean companies have shown interest in the project, with SK Telecom, Naver, Samsung Electronics and Hyundai Motor company expected to use the city to develop their tech and services.

The data farmed from this kind of project would be valuable for car insurance companies, urban planning as well as self-driving development.

Costing 11 billion Won (about R130 million), the test bed will offer numerous environments for autonomous testing such as bus-only lanes, expressways and zones for autonomous parking.

So far it’s been a tough journey for driverless cars, but K-city promises a new and safe space for developers  to develop smart vehicles. The controlled testing environment is allowing cars to be tested with or without the government temporary operation permit.

K-city isn’t the newest playground for the future of transportation, but it will certainly be the largest if compared to US vehicle testing site called Mcity, in Michigan.

Teaching a driverless vehicle about the world is difficult due to all the unexpected surprises on the road. Hopefully K-city will provide the opportunity and place to nurture these surprises.