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Samsung Electronics has been given permission to begin public road trials of its autonomous vehicle technology.

The Yonhap News Agency says South Korea’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport has granted Samsung Electronics permission to test its self-driving vehicles on public roads.

The news agency indicates Samsung Electronics is developing autonomous vehicle technology rather than a complete self-driving car, and is focussing its energies on sensors, and deep-learning and artificial intelligence modules.

Samsung is currently using modified Hyundai vehicles for its self-driving test fleet.

Hoping to encourage Korean companies to develop autonomous vehicle technology, the ministry has been easing regulations around their testing, including reducing the number of passengers required in a self-driving car from two to one.

The ministry claims it has permitted almost 20 self-driving vehicle trials since early 2016, with Hyundai Motor Corporation the first to gain approval.

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Samsung Electronics is best known for its smartphones, televisions and home appliances, and is almost completely unrelated to Renault Samsung Motors, which produces rebadged and restyled cars based on Renault and Nissan models.

The automaker, although initially established by the Samsung chaebol or conglomerate, is now controlled and majority owned by Renault. The Samsung Group retains a small stake in the car maker through its credit card and life insurance arm, which is listed on the stock exchange.

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