Well, what did we know? Samsung has become the latest company to receive permission to test self-driving cars on the South Korean soil, or more accurately, its roads. It appears like the company is ready to take on Apple in this arena as well, as it has in smartphones.
The news comes from the Korea herald, which reports that Samsung received permission to start testing its own self-driving vehicles on Monday. South Korea’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport has given the company its nod to go ahead with the project. Samsung will be taking to the roads with a modified Hyundai test car that has been equipped with a sensor and other camera equipments in order to make it road worthy.
Interestingly, Hyundai was also the first company to receive permission to field self-driving cars on the Korean soil. The company received permission to start testing its vehicles over a year ago. South Korea has also eased the rules involved with the testing of self-driving cars since then.
Earlier, these rules stipulated that at least two people stayed on-board of the self-driving vehicle at all times. However, the number has dropped down to one now. And with its is expected that South Korea cold soon introduce regulations that also allow vehicles without any steering or pedals at all.
Meanwhile, Samsung is a late entrant to a field which is attracting players from all walks of manufacturing and tech industries. Whether it is the likes of GM or Daimler representing core car manufacturers, or tech behemoths like Apple, or even cab aggregators like Uber — competition is going to be something fierce. Samsung does have a bevy of advantages associated with it, including a robust R&D, plenty of funds and now, a public testing ground in form of South Korean roads. Let’s see how quickly the smartphone and electronics manufacturer can utilize all these advantages to catch up to Apple, Uber and others.
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