In May 2017, it became known that Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport of South Korea approved its Seoul-based company Samsung Electronics Inc. to begin tests of the driverless cars.
Samsung had plans to be zipped on to the worldwide popular process of producing and testing of self-driven cars already in 2015. Then, they announced they would organize a new research and development center that would focus on the elaboration of separate equipment to be installed onto autonomous cars. They did not have plans to elaborate and construct a new car from a scratch and this time they used modernized Hyundai as a base. Other plans for this newly created division were unknown at a time.
By the way, Hyundai motor company was the first in South Korea to receive the approval to test vehicles equipped with driverless technologies. By February 2016, around 20 of such approval were already issued by the Ministry of Transport.
The Ministry also works to ease the set of regulations to carmakers producing driverless vehicles. Thus, they:
• reduced a minimal number of passengers to be present in the salon of a self-driven car from previous 2 to 1,
• eased the requirements to have the steering wheel, pedals, and gears in the salon (which now may be completely eliminated if the sufficient automation level is presented in a vehicle),
South Korea wants to become the country with boosted development of new car technologies and they tie the legislative regulations, cutting-edge technologies, informational and communicational tech with Artificial Intelligence in one process to provide the better field to production of self-driving vehicles.
As for the Apple company, it received the approval of the Ministry before Samsung and already tested its driverless cars on the streets. More information is known about their cars than about Samsung’s ones. At a moment, there are some bitty pieces of information about Samsung’s car: Hyundai used in the testing is a commercial model that is equipped with cutting-edge cameras and sensors. The request for more comments was sent to a spokesperson of Samsung but he did not respond.
Specialists say that there are two options why Apple and Samsung are engaged now in this driverless battle:
1. They have mountains of money that will allow them to cut off several years of developments that other companies spent like Google and Tesla and to jump to bite a market share by 2025, when the most part of companies will present their vehicles with autonomous technologies.
2. They want to chase after giants of this direction in order to have ‘me-too’ technology.