Snuber Self-Driving

Self-Driving Taxis Already on Test in South Korea

January 6, 2016 - Written By Tom Dawson

Mobile technology has undeniably changed a number of things in our day-to-day lives, and one of those has to be the way we get from A to B. Google Maps on Android, with free turn-by-turn navigation has made it easier than ever to find out where we’re going, and apps like Waze have managed to harness the hive mind of the driver. Elsewhere, apps like Uber and Lyft have made it easier than ever to catch a ride, with Uber having just completed their One Billionth ride to close out 2015. Recently, we heard that General Motors had invested heavily in Lyft, with an aim to test self-driving cars and develop the technology together further. Well, it looks like the folks at Seoul’s National University have beat them to it.

Researchers from the Intelligent Vehicle IT Research Center at Seoul’s National University have created the Snuber, a sedan that’s been outfitted with cameras and sensors to navigated the roads. The car is then paired with an app that acts similarly to Uber or Lyft and provides the car’s route, the Snuber then takes passengers to where they want to go. The car is currently being testing on the 4,000 square meters of campus in Seoul, which sounds like a perfect test bed. Students need to get around the place, and as there’s a 19 Mph speed limit in place, there’s little danger of any serious collisions. Not that any have been reported so far. At the moment, the test is being used to take disabled students to where they need to be, and despite the car being autonomous there is a driver behind the wheel able to take full manual control whenever necessary.

Tests like these might very well be small, isolated occurrences, but it’s good they exist. With industry names and brands predicting the self-driving car to be available as soon as 2020, this is an emerging technology turning a corner fast. Google might be the one most known for their endeavours in self-driving cars right now, but big names like Daimler and General Motors are joining the fray, creating competition before a final product has even shipped.