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Samsung to test self-driving cars at a modified race track

by Jacob Kleinman | January 12, 2016January 12, 2016 12:00 pm PDT

samsung race track

Samsung announced its interest in vehicle technology last month, but the company could already have a big advantage over the competition. The South Korea company is transforming an amusement park race track it already owns into a test range for self-driving cars.

Korea Joongang Daily reports that the Speedway track at Everland, the country’s largest theme park, will be remodeled for testing autonomous cars. That means making a few modifications while adding real-life obstacles like crossings and road conditions, similar to Volvo’s AstaZero proving ground, which we visited last year.

“It is very difficult to find new space to build a racecourse to test autonomous vehicles or get a license to operate one,” the company said. “Samsung already owns Speedway, so we just need to add some features to the existing racecourse.”

The Speedway originally opened in 1995. It was Korea’s first racing track and a popular destination until 2009 when it was closed to the public. Since then it’s mainly been used for test drives and other auto-industry events. Now the course will become a testing ground for futuristic new vehicles.

Samsung already said it doesn’t plan to release its own cars. Instead, the company wants to explore specific types of technology it can sell to other auto-makers, though it’s possible that could change depending on how these early tests turn out.

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...