Self-driving car are the buzzwords in recent years, but do you know, a South Korea professor had developed self-driving technologies in 1990s, long before South Korean automakers knew how to make good cars (I had a Hyundai Accent in the 90s, btw, and it was… ugh).
Anyways, back in the 90s, Professor Han Min-hong had built an autonomous car. Believe it. Even more unbelievable (given the tech in the 90s) was, this South Korea-developed self-driving car had seen real world test.
It drove 300 kilometers (186 miles) from Seoul to the southern port of Busan in 1995. Now, can we take a moment to appreciate the fact that an autonomous car had seen successful road test more than 25 years ago, before Motorola StarTAC and Nokia 8210 came into existence and way, way before Tesla Motors’ self-driving technology?
Unfortunately, the plug was pulled from Prof Han’s groundbreaking endeavor as the Korean Peninsular country directed its focus on heavy industries. If the team had persisted, the South Korea of today’s could have been the granddaddy of self-driving technology and possibly, the leader in this field.
According to a video posted by SCMP on YouTube, Prof Han’s self-driving technology was showcased with on an unidentified vehicle two years before the long drive, at the Expo ’93. Absolutely mind-blown.
Images and source: YouTube (South China Morning Post).