On Feb. 20, the Naver corporation announced that it was authorized by the Ministry of Land to test self-driving cars on normal roads. Technology and the creation of cars has been one of Korea’s major export focuses, and the fusion of the two may quite likely succeed in the long run.
The testing is expected to begin as soon as next month, according to multiple news agencies in Korea. Since the beginning of the temporary operation authorization procedures by the Ministry of Land, Naver Labs is the first to receive approval from the federal government.
Compared to mega-conglomerates that have shown interests in developing self-driving cars, Naver Labs surely lags behind. However, Naver is quite high on the list when comparing to international standards for driverless car technology. Naver says that it is currently developing its driving technology to Level 3, which requires the driver to take over if the car deems necessary, and the company is in the process of experimenting with Level 4, which allows the driver to relax and do other things while the car drives the passengers safely to their destination.
Naver also seems to have commercial goals behind these research efforts as multiple sources point out that Naver is already planning to partner with numerous existing car manufacturers.
Naver is excited to further test out its driver-less cars on roads as they claim, “By driving on real roads, we hope to accelerate the development of self-driving technology.”