The first journey by an autonomous truck on a highway in South Korea has taken place, the Hyundai Motor Company said Wednesday.
The auto firm's Xcient truck, which has a maximum load capacity of 40 tons, drove around 40 kilometers between Uiwang and Incheon.
The vehicle made its trip Tuesday and used an autonomous driving system. This allowed it to accelerate, decelerate, steer and maneuver through traffic without needing input from a human. A human driver was, however, on board to take control as and when required.
"This successful demonstration proves that innovative autonomous driving technology can be used to transform the trade logistics industry," Maik Ziegler, director of the Commercial Vehicle R&D Strategy Group at the Hyundai Motor Company, said in a statement.
South Korea's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport issued Hyundai with a temporary autonomous driving license for the demonstration. This represented the first time that a heavy-duty truck had been given such a license, Hyundai said.
During the demonstration, the truck traveled 40 kilometers in one hour. Hyundai said that further "autonomous navigation technology tests" were being planned for the future.