[THE INVESTOR] Self-driving car developed by Seoul National University’s Intelligent Vehicle IT Research Center named SNUver 3 has become South Korea’s first autonomous vehicle to succeed in level four self-driving in the city, the research team said Sunday.
SNUver 3 demonstrated a four kilometer test drive around the populous business district Yeouido, western Seoul, for 12 minutes at a maximum speed of 50 kilometers per hour last week.
The latest development came as local companies --country‘s leading automotive company Hyundai Motor and local portal giant Naver-- have so far tested automated cars on highways and less crowded roads.
“For the first time in Korea SNUver 3 has fulfilled the criteria suggested by the Korea Transport Safety Authority for temporary license to test self-driving cars in the city. The criteria includes recognizing traffic lights and staying within the lane on single-lane roads,” said Seo Seung-woo, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Seoul National University who also heads the research team.
According to standards established by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are five levels of autonomy, with five being a self-driving car that does not require any interruption by a human driver.
Out of five level automation scale SNUver 3 qualified for level four, which means it can move around without human input in limited conditions.
The research team emphasized, the low cost GPS installed in the vehicle boasts accuracy down to the centimeter level in congested urban areas.
The camera sensor that identifies colors, such as traffic lights, road signs and lanes, has a 90 percent accuracy, Seo said.
The team will aim to heighten the accuracy to 95 percent, as the current camera sensor may not function properly in high levels of fine dust and foggy weather.
Seo added, the team is open to transferring its autonomous technology or conducting joint research with a different party.
The first version of the SNUver was introduced in November of 2011.
By Kim Bo-gyung/The Korea Herald (firstname.lastname@example.org)