Level 3 autonomous car production and hands-off driving become legal in South Korea from July.
The Ministry and Land, Infrastructure and Transport announced a set of road safety rules for Level 3 autonomous cars for the first time in the world. The guidelines will allow carmakers to manufacture and sell Level 3 cars from July.
In Level 3, drivers can disengage from the driving in certain situations for extended time but need to be available to take full control over the vehicle in case of emergency.
Under the standards, cars can move to autonomous mode upon sensing the driver behind the steering wheel and brakes. They must alert to driver to take control 15 seconds before exiting the expressway or other zones safe for self-driving.
Currently in Korea, Level 2 where drivers must take control over the steering wheel and pedals at all times is allowed.
Experts define five levels in autonomous driving, with each level describing the extent to which a car takes over tasks and responsibilities from the driver and how the car and driver interact.
At Level 4, driver interaction is not needed in most circumstances while human override is still an option. Fully automated Level 5 vehicles need no human attention or interaction.
By Lee Ji-yong and Lee Ha-yeon
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