‘A machine of the future’: Seoul launches revolutionary new means of transport (photos)

This new vehicle does not look like an ordinary vehicle: completely symmetrical, rounded edges, large windows: this means of locomotion looks more like a toy than a state-of-the-art means of transport.

It’s a big step, though: Seoul on Friday launched its first fully self-driving bus line, part of a trial that engineers who designed it say aims to make the public more confident about -Vis to driverless vehicles.

“It’s the future”

This intentional design, according to Jeong Seong-gyun, head of self-driving at 42 Dot, the start-up – is now owned by South Korean company Hyundai – which created the self-driving technology featured here.

“It’s the future”, he assures AFP, adding that as a result, “a new type of remarkable design was needed”. The bus looks a bit like “to a Lego” because it was made from composite parts to reduce costs and make it easy to replicate, he explains.

“We want to promote the era of autonomous driving”he points out, while noting that the company’s goal was to make the technology inexpensive, safer and easily transferable to many different types of vehicles, such as delivery trucks.

A limited course

For the moment placed under the close vigilance of a driver, the new bus will drive itself on a new route, a small circuit of 3.4 kilometers around the city center of the capital of South Korea, a duration of approximately 20 minutes.

People can board at any of two designated stops after reserving a free seat through an app.

To move, the bus uses a camera and laser, not expensive sensors, Jeong said. On the day of the launch, Friday, many passers-by seemed intrigued by the design of the bus, stopping to photograph it and peer inside, or asking questions of nearby 42 Dot staff. “I feel like I jumped into a machine to travel to the future”comments Kim Yi hae-ran, 68, after his journey.

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