South Korea’s internet giant Kakao
is working on self-driving car technology with aims to run a pilot program within one or two years, Chung Joo-hwan, head of online-to-offline business, hinted on Sept. 22.
“We have started diverse research projects to seek opportunities on driverless driving,” he said during an international conference on smart mobility in Seoul.
“We are working on more effective driving routes for self-driving cars through our services such as KakaoNavi.”
Kakao’s premium taxi-hailing service KakaoTaxi Black
He hinted a pilot program could be launched within one or two years, declining to further elaborate.
Kakao has been extending its online-to-offline services aggressively recently, especially focusing on transportation services such as KakaoTaxi, KakaoDriver, KakaoNavi, KakaoBus and KakaoSubway.
KakaoTaxi, in particular, is touted as one of the most successful services. Since its launch in March last year, the number of calls has exceeded 200 million and the daily average is 1 million. Of the nation’s taxi drivers, 96 percent or 240,000 people use the service.
“The services started as we contemplated how to deal with people’s inconveniences. Services related to mobility can be led to diverse industries such as automotive, payment and logistics,” Chung said.
By Lee Ji-yoon (firstname.lastname@example.org