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S. Korean gov’t OKs first self-driving car

March 7, 2016
Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Kang Ho-in (L) gives South Korea's first license for self-driving car to a Hyundai Motor executive in a ceremony in the Sejong Government Complex on March 7, 2016. (Yonhap)

Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Kang Ho-in (L) gives South Korea’s first license for self-driving car to a Hyundai Motor executive in a ceremony in the Sejong Government Complex on March 7, 2016. (Yonhap)

SEJONG (Yonhap) — The South Korean government issued a temporary license plate Monday for the nation’s first self-driving car.

Hyundai’s luxury sedan Genesis equipped with a high-tech driving assist system will be able to hit the road in six routes designated by the transport ministry.

The move is part of efforts to commercialize autonomous vehicles and develop driverless cars in the long term.

South Korea, a car-making power, pushes not to lag behind its global competitors in the promising field. Google and Telsa have so far taken the lead in the development of self-driving cars.

The Genesis prototype has a package of special devices, including cutting-edge GPS and high-tech sensors as well as apparatuses to allow it to stay within its lane and keep a safe distance from the car ahead.

At least two people are required to stay in the car during its test drive, ministry officials said, adding its license will hold good for five years.

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