SEJONG, Nov. 6 (Yonhap) — South Korea will open a test bed road for self-driving cars to allow companies and researchers to check their cars in a real road environment, the transport ministry said Monday.
The 320,000 square meter facility, called “K-City,” has been under construction in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province with some 11 billion won (US$9.77 million) being injected into the project, with the aim of fully opening it for traffic in late 2018.
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said it completed the construction of the highway section first to help support the commercialization of so-called Level 3 autonomous cars by 2020.
Level 3 cars can perform autonomous driving in very specific circumstances where the driver should be ready to take control, while the higher Level 4 rating refers to technology where the automobile has much more autonomous control.
The world-class test site was designed to simulate highways, downtown areas, city outskirts and communal environments and have 35 different driving conditions such toll gates, tunnels, intersections, construction sites and even train track crossings.
Potholes, narrow streets and pedestrian crossings have also been added to test the vehicles, as well as Wi-Fi and fourth-generation wireless technologies.
The highway is composed of four lanes and an opposite lane, equipped with a toll gate, center strips, intersections, soundproof barriers and other facilities.