September 18, 2019
Latest News
Science & Technology

South Korea builds fake city to boost self-driving cars

By Andres Sanchez Braun

Hwaseong, South Korea, Jul 4 (efe-epa).- South Korea has launched a pilot city to test diverse prototypes of self-driving cars using the 5G technology now available in the country.

The mini city built in Hwaseong - some 40 kilometers (24.8 miles), southwest of Seoul - has a school, a fire station, a post office, supermarkets and just like any other large South Korean city, endless cafes and 24-hour self-service shops. But unlike other cities, the buildings here are empty spaces.

This is "K-City", the largest testing ground for self-driving cars in the world, Ryu Do-jeung, head of Korea Transportation Safety Authority, told Efe.

Ryu added that, "as a testing ground, it is the only one of its kind with a perfect 4G and 5G service," the next generation of mobile communication technology, which has been in place since April in South Korea, the first country in the world to have a national network operating.

"And the most important thing is that it is open to the public, hence everyone, from SMEs to universities could have free tests until the end of 2020. This is the big bet of the South Korean government for the sector of self-driven vehicles," said KOTSA's head.

In comparison to other countries, like the United States or Japan, South Korea was late in joining the development of self-driving vehicles, but with this investment - the construction of "K-City" alone has cost $11 million and the hyper-connectivity the country boasts - it could find itself at the top of the pile.

The 360,000-square-meter (88.9-acre) area is made up of different areas, including a highway, an urban and suburban road, parking places, toll booths and a tunnel.

In each of these areas, signs can be modified along with the infrastructure to test out the technology.

"I think that in 5-10 years, automated driving could be possible," Jeong Chang-young, a PhD student at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, said.

Jeong is training for a competition that includes tests such as stopping when detecting pedestrians crossing and entering a highway where other vehicles are circulating.

"But security is most important and at the moment, we cannot certify that one of these cars could cover long distances without causing accidents. Hence, we have to ensure this safety and I believe that within this period we could achieve it," Jeong added.

Then comes the turn to test one of the vehicles that have already been tested successfully in this mini city, a sedan equipped with two radars and two cameras.

After starting the engine, the person at the wheel activates the autopilot and the vehicle starts on its own and takes a curve.

The toughest part comes next; the driver gets down from the vehicle, presses a remote control from a distance and in a few seconds the vehicles moves without anyone at the wheel.

The vehicle then switches on blinkers and takes a left turn, following the layout of the road, slows down upon spotting and clearing a ditch and stops automatically upon detecting a traffic signal in red before starting again when the light turns green.

In the front passenger seat, the almost 10-year-old son of a Transport and Infrastructure Ministry official looks out of the window casually, as if cars have always been automated.

Who knows, maybe by the time the boy turns 20 or 30, self-driving cars will be common on roads all over the world. EFE-EPA

asb/sk/sh

News history
New study reveals giant size of extinct marsupials that once roamed Australia

Washington, Sep 13 (efe-epa).- Paleontologists have found that a species belonging to an extinct genus of marsupial that roamed Australia some 25 million...

Disney CEO leaves Apple's board of directors ahead of streaming services war

San Francisco, USA, Sep 13 (efe-epa).- The chairman and CEO of the Walt Disney Company has resigned from Apple's board of directors – of which he had been a...

Bacteria in cash, pizza as medicine and other crazy experiments win Ig Nobels

Washington DC, Sep 12 (efe-epa).- The number of deadly bacteria lurking in cash or the medicinal properties of pizza are some of the unusual experiments...

Russian scientists patent system to collect space debris

Moscow, Sep 12 (efe-epa).- Student Russian scientists have patented a system of devices to remove space garbage from the Earth's orbit.

Remakes of iconic games steal limelight at Tokyo Game Show

By María Roldán

Bringing children in Peru up to speed with the internet

By Álvaro Mellizo

Water vapor detected in potentially habitable exoplanet's atmosphere

London, Sep 11 (efe-epa).- Scientists for the first time have detected water vapor in the atmosphere of an exoplanet of a size comparable to Earth, making...

Pioneering technology uses plants and microorganisms to produce electricity

By Mercedes Palomino

Science Museum explores how London became global hub for innovation

By Laura Sanfélix

Two viable embryos developed from northern white rhinos

Nairobi, Sep 11 (efe-epa).- Scientists working to save the northern white rhinos from extinction announced Wednesday that two eggs fertilized 10 days ago...

Indian space agency loses contact with lunar lander

New Delhi, Sep 7 (efe-epa).- India's space agency said Saturday that ground controllers lost contact with the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft's Vikram lander...

Countdown begins for India's moon mission to touch down at lunar South Pole

New Delhi, Sep 6 (efe-epa).- The countdown began on Friday for Chandrayaan-2 to land a rover on the Moon, India’s most ambitious space program to look for...

Yamnaya steppe tribe that invaded Iberia advanced as far as India

By Elena Camacho

Baby hippopotamus is latest resident at Nicaragua zoo

Managua, Sep 5 (efe-epa).- A baby hippopotamus, the only member of the species in Nicaragua and which was rescued from a circus, starting Thursday is the...

Austrian technology art festival looks at AI's future impact on humanity

By Luis Lidon

Mexican region gets first desalination plant for ag use in the Americas

By Juan Carlos Machorro

Iran denies burning of its satellite Nahid-1

Tehran, Aug 31 (efe-epa).- Iran has denied the failure of the launch of a communication satellite on Saturday as alleged by the United States.

Soyuz MS-15’s crew undergoes tests ahead of flight to ISS

Moscow, Aug 30 (efe-epa).- The crew members of the Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft on Friday concluded the second day of tests before heading to International Space...

SpaceX Dragon capsule returns to Earth with NASA materials

Washington, Aug 27 (efe-epa).- The SpaceX CRS-108 Dragon space capsule returned safely to Earth on Tuesday loaded with assorted NASA materials, plunging...

Square marks boundary between haves, have-nots in Chile's capital

By Alberto Valdes Gomez

Russia's Soyuz capsule with Fedor robot on board docks at ISS on 2nd attempt

Moscow, Aug 27 (efe-epa).- The Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft, with the Russian Fedor robot as its only crew member, docked Tuesday at the International Space...

Dinosaur paleontology under threat in Argentina

By Pablo Ramón Ochoa

Soyuz carrying robot to attempt dock on ISS after failed attempt

Moscow, Aug 24 (efe-epa).- The Russian Soyuz MS-14 ship carrying android FEDOR as its sole crew member will try to dock on the International Space Station...

The tech hub that flourished against all odds in Gaza

By Laura Fernández Palomo

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.