South Korea K-city: World’s Largest Test-bed for Autonomous Driving
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Uber, Mercedes, Tesla, General Motors, and many major players of the automobile sector are into the race of developing vehicles with the autonomous technology. While autonomous technology needs to undergo test-drives, a proper location to conduct the same is a major issue. Experts say, it can be easy to test-drive such cars at locations given by the government. However, South Korea has a different approach towards self-driving cars with its South Korea K-city. Self-driving in South Korea will become easier thanks to huge plans from its government of building a whole new city for autonomous technology.

The South Korean government plans to construct an 88-acre site as a test-bed for autonomous vehicles. It claims that this site is going to be the largest testing site in the world. On a first-hand basis, Business Korea reported this news about the mega site for self-driving in South Korea.

A Whole New South Korea K-City for Self-Driving

south korea k-city develops test site for cars like google's self-driving car waymo

Google's Self-Driving Car, Waymo

Government of this nation has named this site the K-city. Noticeably, there is already a place called Mcity in Ann Arbor, Michigan for vehicle testing that is used by many technology companies and automakers. But with a spread of 88-acres, K-city will be almost twice the Mcity, in size.

Also, The Verge says that last year, the U.S. Department of Transportation did break ground about the ‘American Center for Mobility’, in Ypsilanti, Michigan; at the 335-acre Willow Run site.

So, when the 88-acre South Korea K-city opens in 2018, its crowning as the world’s biggest test-site may stay for a short term. But yet, K-city aims to remain the center of autonomous experiments for many years down the line.

Hyundai Wants to Make Self-driving Affordable

hyundai ionic

Hyundai Ionic

Moreover, Hyundai, the Korean automaker has pitched its self-driving car, the all electric ‘Ioniq’ as an autonomous vehicle people can actually own. Meaning that compared to the costly self-driving unites in the market; this is going to be an affordable vehicle. Hyundai says that Ioniq will be affordable as it will be using less computing power, and cheaper sensors. Many autonomous experts predict that due to the high-cost of this technology, most of the self-driving cars will be used for shared or on-demand mobility services. So, Hyundai pitching its autonomous car as an affordable one is really interesting and worth speculations.

The test town, South Korea K-city will be used by many South Korean companies like Samsung, Naver, telecom, SK; and by automakers like Kia and Hyundai, according to Business Korea. Notably, Samsung has recently received an approval for the testing of self-driving cars on the country’s public roads. But, we think that with the development of this new human-less city, Samsung will benefit a lot from K-city.

Features of K-city

  • It is currently under construction according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport of South Korea.
  • With a widespread location of 88-acres, the test-bed will cover an area of around 3,60,000 square meters.
  • Its construction is based on ‘Intelligent Transport System’ of the Korea Transportation Safety Authority.
  • The South Korea K-city will have expressways, bus-only lanes, zones for autonomous parking, etc.
  • The budget for investment in K-city is about 11 billion South Korean won ($9.7 million) approximately.

A city flocked by and specially dedicated to the self-driving cars is as far as 2018 to become a reality!

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