Mobis’ self-driving car advancesHyundai Mobis, an auto parts maker affiliated with Korea’s top automotive company Hyundai Motor Group, said Thursday that it has received a temporary license plate to test its self-driving car on Korean roads.
The license, which was obtained last month from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport, is effective for five years.
As a domestic parts maker, Hyundai Mobis has become the first to receive such an approval. Previously, Hyundai Motors and the research team at Seoul National University had been allowed to test its technology on local roads.
Testing a self-driving car on actual roads away from research labs gives developers a significant opportunity to enhance and supplement their imperfect technology, as consumers still cast doubts about the cars’ safety.
“Being able to test drive on actual roads means that it has a certain amount of completion,” said Kang Hyo-jin from Hyundai Mobis.
“But technically, the technology is not perfect. In order to put self-driving cars in common use, we need to keep accumulating data and analyze real situations, which are full of variable factors and crowded.
“In that sense, receiving the license plate means a lot.”
Installed with five radars on the front, back and sides, the experimental car will have a camera in the front and a MicroAutobox, which is an integrated control system that calculates information provided by radar and cameras and inspects the surroundings with a 360-degree view.
Based on the calculations, the system is able to keep a safe distance from the car in front, avoid crashes and change car lanes.
Hyundai Mobis’ technology allows the car to accelerate up to 110 kilometers an hour, or about 68 miles per hour.
While most local car makers and parts manufacturers are investing in developing the technology, Hyundai Mobis is attempting to take the lead by building its own test roads designed just for the autonomous cars inside a large-scale testing ground. It is scheduled to be constructed by October in Seosan, South Chungcheong.
Hyundai Mobis said that a “fake city” will be built inside the complex so that its practicality can be tested, including simulation of emergency situations.
The latest automobile technology, competitively being developed globally by Google and Uber, will be tested on Hyundai Motors’ steady-selling Sonata sedan on a 41-kilometer (25-mile) freeway from Seoul to Hobeop Junction in Gyeonggi.
BY JIN EUN-SOO [firstname.lastname@example.org]