South Korean President Moon Jae-in sought to promote the country's indigenously developed self-driving cars Friday, demonstrating their safety by riding in one himself.
The president was joined by an official from the local developer of autonomous cars, Hyundai Motor Co., for a 15-minute ride in a self-driving fuel cell electric vehicle on the Seoul-Busan expressway.
"Self-driving fuel cell vehicles are a new type of vehicle that are at the very front of the Moon Jae-in administration's drive for innovation-led growth," an official from the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae told reporters. "The president is ready to personally visit and encourage any company that creates quality jobs while pushing for innovation-led growth."
|President Moon Jae-in (R) listens to an official from Hyundai Motor Co. explain how to operate a self-driving car before embarking on a 15-minute test drive in the autonomous fuel cell vehicle on a highway just outside of Seoul on Feb. 2, 2018. (Yonhap)|
Moon's participation in the test run of the self-driving car came one day after he visited a local solar panel manufacturer, which recently announced plans to create 500 new jobs in part by greatly reducing the average working hours of its employees to 42 hours per week from the current 56 hours.
The event also came as the country is set to unveil its first self-driving car services at the upcoming PyeongChang Olympic Games.
Cheong Wa Dae officials said seven autonomous cars will be operated around the venues of the Winter Olympic Games, which will be held from Feb. 9-25. (Yonhap)