SNU unveils door-to-door self-driving taxi [2016/12/07 10:33]

A team from Seoul National University unveiled a door-to-door self-driving taxi for the first time in the nation.

Called Snuber 2, it is an upgraded version of an app-based self-driving taxi called Snuber, which was developed in November 2015.

The new autonomous car, based on Hyundai’s Genesis sedan, is capable of tracking moving subjects, avoiding collision risks, driving on narrow roads and recognizing traffic lights and speed limit signs.

“The key difference of the newer Snuber is that it is able to drive on narrow roads and drop passengers off right in front of their residences,” said Seo Seung-woo, a professor of Seoul National University, who led the development of the self-driving car.

This is also a more advanced version of already existing self-driving cars -- being operated in the complex of Hyundai Motor’s Namyang Research Center -- which are currently only capable of driving on wider roads.

“The new Snuber has improved to the extent that it recognizes things -- people, roads, moving objects -- nearly like how a human being recognizes things,” he said.

This is because of the improved Light Detection and Ranging, or LiDAR, technologies, he said. LiDAR is a laser radar recognizing the surroundings of cars. It is one of the key technologies for autonomous cars.

Seo said Snuber 2 has already driven more than 10,000 kilometers on the campus without an accident during the last two years.

In line with the development of self-driving car technologies in private industry, the government is also working on infrastructure and regulations to support them.
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