SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, May 29, 2019 – The world’s first 5G convergence autonomous vehicle technology will be unveiled in Sangam-dong, Seoul, on June 22. This means that a real connected car (V2X, Vehicle to Everything) that connects the vehicle to everything around the vehicle through a high-speed 5G network will run on an ordinary road in downtown Seoul.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government announced that it will hold the “Sangam Self-Driving Festival” to open to the public the site of the 5G self-driving test bed, which is being built in Sangam-dong as part of a joint C-ITS demonstration project developed with the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, and to introduce Seoul’s future transport.
Under the theme “Future Transportation Connecting by 5G,” the festival will take place from 10am to 5pm on June 22 on the sidewalk in front of Nuri Dream Square and on the World Cup Buk-ro in Sangam-dong. A total of 17 local companies and universities, including SK Telecom, KT, Samsung Electronics, Uncommand Solutions, Yonsei University and Kookmin University will participate in the festival. Anyone interested is allowed to visit the festival and experience future transportation vehicles, including autonomous driving cars. All programs are free of charge.
The highlight of the festival is disclosing the world’s first 5G.V2X convergence autonomous driving technology introduced on the ordinary road. Korea succeeded in commercializing 5G for future transportation for the first time in the world on April 3, 2019.
So far, autonomous driving technology has been limited to the development of sensors placed in vehicles to recognize the surrounding environment. As a result, there have been some safety problems such as sensor errors when it encounters bad weathers. However, the self-driving system to be demonstrated this time by the Seoul Metropolitan Government is a core technology that overcome limitations of the previous self-driving technology. Through this technology, vehicles and road infrastructure are connected by high-speed, ultra-low-delayed 5G commercial communication network and Wave, so information on traffic signals and sudden situations on roads are quickly delivered to vehicles.
It is also noteworthy that this is the first time to unveil a truly connected car technology that connects the vehicle to everything through 5G. Besides, diverse smart mobility services that we will use in our daily lives in the near future, such as self-driving parcels and self-driving shuttle buses will be introduced during the festival. Also, citizens can ride a self-driving bus or car. A total of seven vehicles (four buses and three passenger cars) will run about 1.1 kilometers of the World Cup Buk-ro from 10am to 5pm. Anyone who applies in advance may ride them. Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis from June 3 at the Seoul Metropolitan Government’s website (http://www.seoul.go.kr) or at TOPIS website (http://topis.seoul.go.kr). Some of applications will also be accepted on-site during the festival.
The festival will also offer programs for kids, including VR experience of a submarine and a hot-air balloon and making their own transportation card, so that children may stimulate their curiosities and interests in the future transportation. Participating Korean companies will display various future transportation technologies such as 5G, connected cars and AI.
To facilitate the event, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will control traffic at the six of the eight two-way lanes between the World Cup Buk-ro/World Cup Park Complex 6 and Digital Media City Intersection from 5am to 5pm on June 22. On June 9, the four of the same section will be closed from the midnight to 11am for testing in advance of self-driving cars. In order to minimize any inconvenience caused by the traffic control, the Seoul Metropolitan Government said that it will deploy traffic safety personnel and set up traffic guide boards and banners to make all its efforts for the citizens’ safety.
Meanwhile, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will officially open a test bed for self-driving cars in Sangam-dong in this coming July. It also plans to open a self-driving center to private companies and start a pilot operation of 5G self-driving buses. All of the equipment and facilities in the test bed can be used by all future transportation-related companies in Korea for free at any time in order to help them advance into the global market.
The test bed features a self-driving control center, smart road infrastructure, precise road map platform, electric vehicle charging station and V2X & 5G base station. Also, self-driving traffic safety facilities will be installed.