Seoul pushes self-driving car commercialization plan to provide services on 26 roads this year


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Seoul, South Korea is ambitious, and plans to take advantage of the country’s advantages in autonomous driving and wireless charging technology to promote the operation of autonomous taxis and wireless charging bus lines in some prosperous urban areas and tourist attractions within the year, and explore open autonomous driving and wireless charging. Wireless charging commercial model.

In early June, the Seoul Metropolitan Government and the Korean Ministry of Land and Resources jointly announced that the RoboRide taxi service for self-driving cars was officially launched. Seoul City plans to start providing services this year on 26 roads (48.8 kilometers) including Teheran Road, Gangnam-daero, Yeongdong-daero, Eonju-ro, and Nambu Loop Road, and will expand the operation to Dosan-daero and Apgujeong-ro next year. 32 roads (76.1 km).

In the first quarter of this year, the city of Seoul has trial-operated a self-driving loop bus in Sangam-dong, Mapo-gu. However, different from the operation mode of setting a fixed route, the RoboRide taxi adopts a flexible route. After receiving the passenger’s order, the taxi makes a series of judgments, finds the shortest distance from the passenger’s departure point to the destination, and adjusts the driving according to the real-time road conditions. Routes, technologies and services have reached a commercial level.


In order to make RoboRide taxis better cope with the complex traffic conditions in Gangnam, the Seoul Metropolitan Government and the Korean Ministry of Land and Resources have provided a lot of information support for its operation. Since 2020, the city of Seoul has installed a traffic signal opening system at 132 intersections, which provides autonomous vehicles with information such as the color of lights and the time of color change every 0.1 seconds.

Seoul City plans to cooperate with the Ministry of Land and Resources of South Korea to conduct a two-month trial operation of RoboRide taxis, listen to opinions from various parties, and further improve technology and services. Four RoboRide taxis have been put into service since August. Citizens can call RoboRide taxis with mobile software and enjoy the service free of charge.

A person from the Seoul Metropolitan Government stated that the city of Seoul will plan the area around Sangam-dong, Cheonggyecheon and Gangnam as the center of autonomous driving, realize the commercialization of autonomous driving technology in the urban area in advance, and build Seoul into a place that can attract world-class companies to complete autonomous driving. Technology’s “Open Autonomous Driving Technology Innovation City”.


At the same time, the Seoul Metropolitan Government is promoting a demonstration project of wireless charging technology for public transportation lines, which is applicable to the “Namsan Circulation Bus” and the “Cheonggyecheon Self-driving Bus” that will start operating in the second half of this year. To this end, the municipal government will complete the construction of infrastructure such as charging equipment within this year, and it will be officially put into use next year.

The wireless charger of this kind of bus line is buried in the station or on the road, and charges through the resonant frequency. Unlike wired charging, the vehicle does not need to install heavy connectors, nor does it need to operate the charger, and it can be charged simply by parking the vehicle. At present, South Korea has a large-capacity fast charging wireless charging technology of more than 150kWh. Taking a large electric bus as an example, it can travel 21 kilometers in 6 minutes. This 150kWh charging device is installed on the wireless charging bus line promoted by Seoul City.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government plans to evaluate the operation results of the demonstration project and study the application of wireless charging technology to self-driving cars, shared cars, and electric buses. According to the municipal government, the construction of electric bus charging stations can be solved by completing the technical verification and commercialization of the technology through the wireless charging technology demonstration project. This is expected to develop into a core technology that will lead a new era of electric vehicle popularization and achieve the carbon neutrality goal of 2050. The city of Seoul will actively support the development and popularization of new technologies, improve the convenience of charging electric vehicles, and make Seoul a city that leads the popularization of electric vehicles.


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