Driverless Taxi ‘Snuber’ Wanders Around Seoul University Campus
South Korea is now joining the game of driverless cars as they send a sedan called ‘Snuber’ around a university campus transporting handicapped students.
The director of the Intelligent Vehicle IT Research Center at Seoul University, Seo Seung-Woo, shed light on these recent events.
It is currently being classified as a success as it has cruised around the whole campus without a single accident for 6 months straight. That’s pretty impressive, knowing that the campus is 44,200 sq. feet.
The hailing system involves an app very similar to Uber that the university developed.
Like many driverless cars, Snuber has a turret on the roof which functions as a road scanner. The sensors, camera, and laser scanners help it navigate steadily through the roads.
Due to regulations, the car cannot travel more than 30kmh (18.6 mph), and there is a driver behind the steering wheel just in case the automated system needs to be overridden.
Even though the sedan is not programmed in advance to stop at red lights, it can hit the brakes when it encounters a stoplight or a pedestrian crosswalk.
Obviously, the driverless car can detect when another car is in front of it, but it can also analyze the other lane to determine if any car is coming the opposite way. If there isn’t any close by, it switches lanes to take the lead.
According to Seo, this car needs more testing and is not ready to take the challenge of public roads. “It will take a huge amount of time and effort,” said Seo. “We need more tests in real traffic conditions.”
He estimates the car will be fully functional by 2020.