These days it seems that having a self-driving vehicle department is becoming a requirement for large tech firms. And while Samsung took its first steps toward the autonomous car market back in 2015, the company has only just been granted permission to begin testing on South Korean roads.
The world’s largest smartphone maker has been given the green light to start the public experiment by the country’s ministry of land, infrastructure, and transport. According to the Korean Herald, rather than manufacture its own cars, Samsung “plans to develop top-of-the-line sensors and computer modules backed by artificial intelligence and the deep-learning technologies to improve cars' self-driving capabilities even in challenging weather conditions.”
The cars themselves are commercial vehicles from fellow Korean firm Hyundai, equipped with the latest cameras and sensors. Samsung becomes the 20th company to be awarded a permit for self-driving car tests on South Korean roads.
Samsung’s big mobile rival, Apple, was recently granted permission to test three 2015 Lexus RX 450h hybrid autonomous SUVs in California. And with Google deep into its self-driving vehicle testing phase, it seems that autonomous cars is set to become another market where the three companies will battle it out.
South Korea’s government is doing all it can to make the country an ideal testing location for the technology. As noted by The Guardian, it has reduced the number of mandatory passengers in each self-driving vehicle from two to one, and has paved the way for the testing of cars without steering wheels or pedals.