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S. Korea says self-driving cars will be on roads by 2020

May 29, 2015
President Park Geun-hye gets in a self-driving car, developed by Hyundai Motor Co., for a test ride at the Korea Aerospace Research Institute in the city of Daejeon, central South Korea, on May 29, 2015. (Yonhap)

President Park Geun-hye gets in a self-driving car, developed by Hyundai Motor Co., for a test ride at the Korea Aerospace Research Institute in the city of Daejeon, central South Korea, on May 29, 2015. (Yonhap)

SEOUL, May 29 (Yonhap) — Self-driving cars could hit South Korean roads by 2020, an official said Friday, in an apparent move to stay ahead of the global competition for autonomous vehicles.

South Korea will develop sensors and other autonomous technologies while cutting red tape for driverless cars, presidential spokesman Min Kyung-wook said.

He said autonomous vehicles could account for 75 percent of the global car market by 2030.

“We should step up efforts for the development of the unmanned vehicle industry,” President Park Geun-hye said in a meeting with more than 150 people, including scientists and engineers in the central city of Daejeon.

She said South Korea has what it takes to develop unmanned vehicles, adding that the country is the world’s fifth-largest automobile producer and is one of the most advanced countries in information and communication technology.

South Korea is home to Hyundai Motor Co. and its smaller affiliate, Kia Motors Corp., the two flagship units of Hyundai Motor Group, the world’s fifth-largest carmaker.

The government said it would improve regulations this year for a test of driverless cars on roads.

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