The South Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport released its Mobility Innovation Roadmap in which it addresses how the country can advance autonomous driving, commercial drones and other urban air mobility (UAM) services.
The ministry is also planning for a traffic jam-free UAM service in the country’s capital city Seoul, as well as other parts of the country.
The country plans to put Level three “Conditional automation” vehicles on the road before the end of 2022, launch self-driving buses and taxis by 2025, and have passenger cars that use Level four “High automation” self-driving technology by 2027.
“To achieve this goal, the government will overhaul existing transportation systems and set up safety standards and insurance programs for autonomous cars,” Minister Won Hee-ryong said at a press briefing.
The ministry predicts that half of the newly manufactured cars made will be fully automated by 2035, which should help yearly deaths caused by traffic accidents to drop below 1,000.
South Korea is aiming to become the world’s third country after Japan and Germany to implement such a plan.
Japan approved Level three autonomous driving in July 2021, followed by Germany in December 2021.
The US Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) defined six levels of vehicle autonomy, ranging from Level 0 – no driving automation – to Level 5 – full driving automation.
Currently, mass-produced vehicles are mostly based on Level 2 technology of partial driving automation, with the driver required to always monitor the car. Level 3 conditional driving automation, however, can make decisions for the driver during most situations using ADAS equipment and artificial intelligence.
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