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Korea to invest 11.9 billion won in unmanned vehicle sector in 2018

South Korea will invest 11.9 billion won ($11.1 million) in 2018 to develop unmanned vehicles, including the first passenger drones, the science ministry said Wednesday, as the country aims to emerge as a global leader in the sector,

The Ministry of Science and ICT said the government finalized this year's plan to boost the development of future-oriented drones, self-driving cars, unmanned ships and agricultural machines.

The ministry earlier designated the sector as one of the key strategic industries that is quickly transforming under the fourth industrial revolution.

Of the total, 2.95 billion won was earmarked to develop basic technology of unmanned vehicles, with another 2.4 billion won to secure core technology, the ministry said.

Another 3.55 billion won was set aside to develop small unmanned vehicles and 3 billion won in technology related to traffic management.

The global unmanned vehicle market was worth $15 billion in 2015. It grew to $32.6 billion in 2016 and is expected to grow to $274.2 billion by 2018, the ministry added. (Yonhap)