Renault Samsung Granted Permit to Test Autonomous Cars in South Korea

Renault Samsung Granted Permit to Test Autonomous Cars in South Korea

Author: Jacky Ho   

Renault Samsung Motors (RSM) Corp. said Thursday that it has received temporary approval from the country's transportation ministry to test its self-driving cars on roads in South Korea.

The permission allows the South Korean unit of French carmaker Renault S.A. to test its autonomous vehicles under development on designated expressways and test sites.

Currently, Renault Samsung is working on a traffic jam assist system that can be used to drive cars on crowded roads at low speeds. With its newly granted permit, the carmaker plans to test this feature with a self-driving car equipped with side radar, cameras and sensors on crowded streets at speeds below 50 km.

"This permit will boost Renault Samsung's development of autonomous driving technology on a reasonable and practical basis and would serve to help the early commercialization of the technology," said Kwon Sang-soon, a company official.

The carmaker has participated in a project led by the governments of South Korea and France to develop autonomous cars since 2016. The project is joined by Hanyang University, LG Electronics, Controlworks, Katech and Valeo Automotive Korea.

"Licences like this one greatly improve the pace of research and development for automated vehicle systems. Companies like Renault Samsung need to be able to test cars in real conditions, not just on isolated test tracks, to assess their viability. Granting licences to test this technology in real world environments is a pivotal part of this." said John Frazer, CCO of the Decentralized Autonomous Vehicles (DAV) Foundation.

The company was first established as Samsung Motors in 1994 by Samsung, with technical assistance from Japan's Nissan Motor Corp. In September 2000, Samsung Motors became a subsidiary of Renault and adopted its present name. RSM is one of the top five automakers in South Korea.

The company aims to have models equipped with autonomous driving technology by 2020.

Jacky Ho
Jacky Ho
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