The road ahead

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The road ahead

The author is a deputy head of the industry 1 team of the JoongAng Ilbo.

Volkswagen, the largest automotive maker in the world, has been testing Level 4 automated driving in real-word driving conditions in Hamburg, Germany. “Level 4” self-driving is the state where no driver attention is needed in automated driving, according to the U.S.-based Society of Automotive Engineers standards.


A taxi driver looks at a Tada car in downtown Seoul. Prosecutors recently concluded that the Tada car-sharing service is illegal. [NEWS1]

Construction to extend the test bed for self-driving cars by 9 kilometers (5.6 miles) is in progress in Hamburg for completion next year. The V2X infrastructure and signal system are improved to facilitate the automated driving system. The municipal authority is preparing conditions to enable actual road driving to get data for future mobility.

Tada was never able to innovate. With the controversy that lasted over a year, it never had the chance to innovate. It didn’t show more potential than a taxi service that is a bit more expensive and does not refuse customers. Or it couldn’t. The key in future mobility is to kill two birds with one stone by spending less for more efficient travel. But Tada could not attain the goal on its own.

Hamburg, California and many cities in China are testing mobility because they know the “two birds” will turn into sustainable mobility and a gigantic market. Tada could not be innovative because of the government authorities and their regulations, the legislators who did not do what they are supposed to do and the politicians who didn’t want to lose votes in the upcoming election and neglected the future.

With Uber causing controversy, Sweden is requiring all Uber drivers to get a taxi license. In Stockholm, Uber, taxis, Lime and trams coexist. The future is made by all members of the society. If the Tada situation is a sign of things to come, Korea will face challenges ahead.
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