Meet Snuber, the Driverless Taxi from Seoul University's Campus

While some states, such as California, Michigan or Nevada, are being invaded by fully autonomous cars traveling on its public roads all day long, a South Korean university has its own driverless taxi that roams around the campus each day, transporting disabled students.
Snuber driverless taxi 1 photo
Photo: Seoul National University
The vehicle, called Snuber, has been doing this for six months now, and as no accidents have been recorded, we might say it's been doing a pretty good job so far. The autonomous taxi is working in conjunction with a hailing app developed by the university.

Snuber is, in fact, a Hyundai Genesis packed with devices that scan the road, lasers, cameras, and a lot of other sensors. Because the regulations are currently banning autonomous vehicles from the roads, a driver is behind the wheel and can take control if necessary.

The car’s top speed is 18.6 mph, because of the speed limit on campus, and although there are no traffic lights, researchers have programmed it to navigate around other obstacles. The vehicle brakes at a red stop sign or a pedestrian crosswalk.

If another vehicle stops on the road, Snuber instantly scans the other lane, and if possible, it even passes the stopped car, as explained by the Seoul National University.

Seo Seung-Woo, Director of the Intelligent Vehicle IT Research Center at Seoul National University, says the vehicle is not ready yet for testing outside the campus and “It will take a huge amount of time and effort,” as well as more tests in real traffic conditions, until this happens.

Although South Korean companies are just emerging in the fully autonomous cars market, in other parts of the world this is already a common thing. In Japan, for example, a company called Robot Taxi Inc. plans to offer a full commercial service in 2020. In Greece, the driverless bus called CityMobil2 has also been tested.

On a much bigger scale, giant company General Motors has recently announced its plans to invest $500 million in Lyft, in order to create autonomous taxis.

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