Samsung self-driving car trial in South Korea approved

Technology 02 May 2017
Samsung self-driving car trial in South Korea approved

Samsung self-driving car trial in South Korea approved

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Samsung has been given permission to start testing its self-driving cars on the roads in South Korea.

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport approved Samsung's plans to test its self-driving technology on Monday.

According to the Korea Herald, the company is using a customised Hyundai car for the tests.

Officials from the technology giant have denied the company has any intention of making cars.

"The test run approval does not mean that Samsung is making a self-driving car", a spokesperson was reported as saying.

"The pilot run is being carried out for software and solution development for an autonomous car, nothing more."

'Complex manoeuvres'

The car will be fitted with laser and radar sensors made by other companies, paired with Samsung's artificial intelligence and deep learning software.

The aim is to teach the AI how to drive better in a variety of conditions, including poor weather.

"Driving is a complex task. Some things can be automated very easily, but a number are difficult to automate, like small manoeuvres," Dr. Siraj Ahmed Shaikh from the Centre for Mobility and Transport (CMT) at Coventry University, told the BBC.

By focusing on "the very fancy cutting edge deep mind technology," Dr Shaikh said, "it's the very difficult decisions in terms of complex manoeuvres that [Samsung] are trying to overcome."

Samsung also plans to develop its own computer modules and sensors, according to South Korea's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.

In November last year, the company bought US firm Harman, which develops such software and components, for $8bn (£6.2bn).

In January this year, it announced plans to develop a self-driving platform that could be sold to car manufacturers.

"The automotive industry is set up in a similar way to the computer industry, where you can buy a motherboard from one place, and other components from somewhere else and bang them together", Dr Shaikh said.

"The manufacturers have a very good view of the supply chain, what technology is out there, and how to put it together."

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