The Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs announced on February 20 that the ministry gave Naver Labs, a technology research and development subsidiary of Naver permission to temporarily operate driverless cars on actual roads. The green light was the thirteenth since the introduction of a provisional permission system for self-driving vehicles for testing and research purposes in February last year.
Naver is the first company in the Korean IT industry to receive such permission to operate autonomous vehicles. In the meantime, autonomous driving technology has been developed by the automobile industry and academia in Korea. Starting from Hyundai in March of last year, Seoul Nationl Universtiy (SNU), Hanyang University, Hyundai Mobis, Korea Transportation Safety Authority, and the KAIST were granted such permission to operate auto drive cars.
Overseas, the IT industry including Google, is leading autonomous navigation technology. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport expects the participation of Naver Labs in autonomous development of automobiles to accelerate the development of autonomous driving technology.
Based on this temporary permit, Naver plans to further improve its autonomous driving technology through data accumulation and analysis in an actual driving environment in the future.
On top of that, research will be carried out to realize ambient intelligence in a road environment that Naver Labs pursues. Living environment intelligence technology recognizes a situation and its surrounding environments and provides service that users need without their orders.
Naver Labs is currently working on a variety of technical areas related to autonomous navigation and the advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) for the purpose of improving future mobility and informatizing road environments by forming a mobility team.
On the other hand, the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs is promoting system improvement and autonomous navigation infrastructure with the aim of commercializing level 3 autonomous vehicles in 2020. Level 3 refers to a stage where autonomous driving is possible within defined areas such as highways. This year, relevant regulations will be revised to enable autonomous driving. The ministry is planning to open the high-speed driving route of K-City, an autonomous driving car experimental city currently under construction first this year and all routes next year.