11 May 2017


The site is called K-City, South Korea plans to open it coming October. The 88-acre site will provide testing ground as large as a city, according the the Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure & Transport. It will be twice the size of MCity, the vehicle testing site in Ann Arbor, Mich, which is at this moment the world’s largest.

But K-City will be dwarfed again by the new American Center for Mobility in Ypsilanti, Michigan, for which the U.S. Department of Transportation broke ground last year.

South Korea began testing self-driving cars across the country last year. K-City's test bed will provide bus-only lanes, expressways and parking zones in a controlled environment.K-City will be used by South Korean companies SK Telecom, Naver, Samsung and automakers Hyundai and Kia. The nation started issuing permits for testing on public streets last year starting with eight vehicles. Recently, it gave Samsung a new permit, allowing it to test its own self-driving platform, consisting of sensors and computing systems but not a vehicle. South Korea's largest automaker, Hyundai, is also building self-driving tech that requires less computing horsepower than other systems, but so far it has been testing the tech in the US.

A big part of Korea's self-driving push is K-City, a $17 million project which will feature a mock inner city, suburban roads, expressways and more. Expressway testing will start in October 2017, with the rest of the facility opening by mid-2018. That date is well earlier than originally planned, showing just how crucial self-driving tech has become to companies (and entire nations) just over the last year.

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