South Korea is building the world's largest test bed for self-driving vehicles. The ground, which is as large as a city, will enable self-driving car developers to conduct tests in a range of scenarios and road environments.
The test bed dubbed K-City will be launched in October this year. It would be used by a number of South Korean companies such as SK Telecom, Naver, Samsung and automakers like Hyundai and Kia Motors, reports Business Korea. Samsung recently received approval from the South Korean government to test autonomous car technology on the country's roads.
South Korea first announced its plan to launch the test bed last August. The 18.8 billion won ($16.5m, £12.7m) test bed would have various settings with each representing different driving conditions, from a high-speed expressway to inner-city roads.
According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport of South Korea, the site is currently under construction based on the intelligent transportation system of the Korea Transportation Safety Authority.
An area of about 360,000 square metres is expected to have bus-only lanes, expressways, zones for autonomous parking and so on. The expressways in K-City would be launched in the second half of this year, and the entire facility is likely to be opened in the second half of next year.
Experts believe the site should be equipped with professional engineers and platforms for self-driving data recording and sharing, which could be utilised for car insurance, urban planning and self-driving car development. They also want automotive technology startups to be allowed in the testing ground, as self-driving car development requires an optimal combination of communications, software and mobility services.