Seoul Opens New Bike Path Along Cheonggye Stream As Part of CRT Network On Mon, May 31, the SMG officially opened a new bike path along Cheonggye Stream. The path is a straight track (5.94 km) that starts at the Cheonggye Plaza, and ends at the Gosanja Bridge. The bike path along Cheonggye Stream is first of the “cycle rapid transit” (CRT) network to be opened as part of the SMG’s CRT network construction plan with an objective of building major bike paths that spread citywide in all four directions. The SMG installed LED signboards at bike path entrances to increase night time visibility, and installed skid-proof pavement while reducing the path’s slope for increased safety. Through the newly opened bike path along Cheonggye Stream, now there is a central bike path that connects the city from the west to east through downtown along the Han River and Jungnang Stream. Seoul Hosts WALK21: A Glimpse Into the Future of Seoul as a “Smart Walkable City” From May 26 to 28, the SMG hosted Walk21 Seoul: The 21st International Walk21 Virtual Conference under the slogan, “Moving Forward: Smart Walkable City, Seoul” and explored walking policies from around the world while introducing its excellent projects, such as Pedestrian Forest Path on Sejongdaero. Participants of the conference listened to expert opinions on subjects, such as the nationwide and citywide effects of walking, and discussed the importance of global participation to create walking-friendly cities and spread the culture of walking with international guests, including Dr. Etienne Krug, Director at the World Health Organization (WHO). Seoul to Install Publicly Voted Direction Signs for Downtown Bike Paths The SMG is planning to install bike-only direction signs downtown in line with the increased number of cyclists. The plan is to install direction signs that are currently only installed in riverside roads, such as Hangang Park, also in the city center to increase safety for those citizens who ride bikes for daily activities, such as commuting. The signs will not only indicate directions and distances, but also show various information related to travel time, public restrooms, rest facilities, and more. The SMG will select the design of new bike path direction signs through a public vote. Seoul Traffic Fatality Records AllTime Low in 2020 Minus 12.4% YoY The annual traffic fatality in Seoul in 2020 recorded 219 deaths, which was 31 deaths lower than the previous year (250 deaths) with a daily average traffic fatality of 0.60 deaths. This is the lowest number recorded since 1970 when the SMG first started to count traffic fatality. Since the highest number of traffic fatality was recorded in 2014 (400 deaths), the number of deaths has been steadily decreasing for the next 6 years. It is analyzed that the all-time low record was the result of steady enforcement of traffic policies that prioritize pedestrian safety and convenience by the SMG and Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency. The SMG intends to use this statistical analysis of traffic accidents to establish the 4th Seoul traffic safety basic plan, and develop long term traffic safety measures by the end of this year
This month’s policy
Smart City Seoul Made By Mobility Innovation Seoul Smart Mobility Expo 2021 Seoul Smart Mobility Expo 2021 was successfully held from Thu, Jun. 10 to Sat, Jun. 12 at Oil Tank Culture Park in Mapo-gu. The purpose of the event was to explore changes in the means of transportation driven by Industry 4.0, and propose a blueprint for the future of mobility. This year’s expo was the second event after 2019. At the expo where future transportation visions were introduced with the theme “A smarter city made by mobility innovation,” the SMG shared its vision of future transportation, and the participants had opportunities to get hands-on experience with innovative technologies and services of leading companies. Around 40 global tech companies, including Hyundai Motor Company, Hanwha Systems, LG Electronics, GS Caltex, Benz, KT, T Map Mobility, Kakao Mobility, T-Money, 42dot and Autommerce, as well as key personnel from the government, industries and academia with citizens who are interested in mobility participated in the event. In his opening speech, Mayor Oh Se-hoon of Seoul, said, “Rapid advancement of mobility technology and the transition into contactless society are driving us even closer to the era of future mobility. The SMG will do its best to hasten the arrival of future transportation in Seoul by building a mobility ecosystem and infrastructures such as urban air traffic, autonomous driving, smart logistics and delivery system based on successful host of this expo.” In addition, key players in the Korean and international mobility markets—Hyundai Motor Company, Hanwha Systems, and Mercedes-Benz Korea—revealed the will and ambition that companies have for new means of transportation within the mobility sector in their keynote speeches. •Vice President Park Dong-il of Hyundai Motor Company, revealed the future mobility and technology innovation that Hyundai Motor Company promotes with the theme “Technological innovations for future mobility.” •CEO Kim Yeon-cheol of Hanwha Systems, predicted rapid changes that will come to the mobility ecosystem, sharing his confidence that urban air mobility (UAM) will become a new means of transportation in the traffic network which will become 3D networks from 2D networks. •COO Markus Schäfer of MercedesBenz said that Mercedes-Benz will be oriented toward sustainable intelligent mobility that will continue the prestige of Mercedes-Benz that has led technology innovation in the global automobile sector Innovative technologies of leading companies in the urban air traffic, smart logistics, and autonomous driving sectors in one place In sessions held on Thu, Jun. 10 and Fri, Jun. 11 on different subjects, experts from various fields had active discussions on the mobility vision for Seoul, technologies and projects that Korean companies are working on, and the latest trends in the rapidly changing mobility sector. •In-depth discussions took place on various subjects including autonomous driving, low-carbon urban plan through eco-friendly mobility technology, future transportation through the mobility as a service (MaaS), and changes in the mobility industry driven by COVID-19 as well as UAM. In addition, the themed halls offered various exhibitions and demonstrative events such as aircraft boarding, logistics and delivery robots, autonomous driving VR simulations through which the participants could experience future mobility of Seoul on the three themes: UAM, smart logistics, and autonomous driving. •UAM Zone demonstrated key UAM technologies, such UAM aircraft, terminal hub and control tower for safe operation, and 3D urban traffic network technology that will open up the sky path in Seoul. •The smart logistics zone showcased logistics robots and last mile delivery robots that are used in cutting-edge logistics centers by demonstrating movement of goods from the point of order, and prepared effective and ecofriendly logistics and delivery. •Autonomous Driving Zone introduced core technologies of autonomous driving, including a cutting-edge driver assistance system, high-density map, and offered VR experiences and showcased concept cars for the next-generation intelligent traffic system. Around 40 leading companies that participated in the expo, including CJ Logistics, GS Caltex, LG Electronics, SK Telecom, NAVER LABS and Kakao Mobility, introduced their visions and technologies in response to the new wave of mobility in the exhibition zone. In addition, various events also took place where citizens could directly experience future mobility, such as AI robot show, exhibition of mobility designs drawn by university students, wearable robot experiences, and operation of autonomously driving shuttle bus service near the event venue. With this expo as a start, the SMG revealed that it will accelerate innovation in the private sector, and establish the relevant systems and infrastructures to transform Seoul into a world-class smart city.
Seoul Holds Future Transportation Experience Programs & Demos for Advanced Technologies Such As Autonomous Driving On Tue, Jun. 8, the SMG invited civil servants from 13 city and provincial governments, and held a future transportation presentation at Sangam’s Autonomous Driving Demonstration Zone where it shared technologies and experiences related to connected vehicles and autonomous driving.The purpose of the presentation was to share the result of the demonstrative project for the cooperative intelligent transport systems (C-ITS) that the SMG jointly executed with the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport (MOLIT) with civil servants working for local governments across the country. The participants were offered a chance to experience connected vehicle technology that dramatically reduces traffic accidents, and ride autonomous cars applied with connected vehicle technology on city roads. ✽C-ITS: Using a wireless vehicle communication network to facilitate information sharing among vehicles (V2V) and between vehicles and infrastructure (V2I) to inform drivers of potential danger in advance increasing road safety as well as to support autonomous driving. Demonstration of 20 connected services, including traffic light notification, remaining time, and imminent risk alerts such as jaywalking pedestrians The 5G integrated connected vehicle technology that was introduced at the presentation is an advanced technology that prevents pedestrian accidents via vehicle-to-everything (V2X) through 5G networks that connect vehicles-to-pedestrian (V2P), and facilitate exchange of risk information beyond vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I). Such connected vehicle service integrated with 5G technology can provide precise information on traffic signals and traffic regulations to the second such as what color is the traffic light facing the vehicle, and how many seconds are left before the green light turns off. At the presentation, the SMG introduced 20 road safety services using connected vehicle technology, including advance road hazard notice service which uses deep-learning video cameras installed in dangerous road sections to detect jaywalking pedestrians, accidents inside tunnels, illegally parked vehicles and vehicles parked at curve sections, and send the relevant data to vehicles as well as the front collision and lane departure warning systems. In particular, the SMG revealed a road traffic service specialized for public transportation system (i.e. bus) which boosts the level of traffic safety of public bus services that operate in the median bus lanes. The specialized public transportation service will be used to support safe operation in accidentprone bus stops by providing buses with road information before they enter bus stops such as presence of pedestrians, status of occupied space in the bus stops, risk of colliding with overtaking buses, and so on. The SMG expects that the connected vehicle technology that supports traffic safety could reduce the number of traffic accidents caused by drivers’ carelessness by over 30%. Unveiling of a 3P project: Automatic pothole and traffic cone detection technology using vision sensors installed on vehicles Revealed at the presentation was a technology that analyzes road images collected in real time by advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) to detect potholes and traffic cones, which then sends the relevant data to the surrounding vehicles to warn drivers of risks. The technology was developed through a public-private partnership (3P) project. The SMG provided over 23,000 photos of potholes found in the city, and SK Telecom conducted AI-based deep learning training for over seven months to develop the technology. Based on the technology unveiled at the presentation, the SMG will install traffic safety vision sensors in buses (1,600 units), and taxis (100 units) to collect information on potholes and traffic cones in the city in real time, and provide the information to private navigation systems providers to warn drivers ahead. Test driving autonomous vehicles on city roads using connected vehicle technology, spreading future transportation nationwide In addition, the SMG provided the civil servants who attended the event an opportunity to test drive autonomous vehicles applied with connected vehicle technology to operate safely alongside standard cars and taxis without traffic control even on complex city roads. Connected vehicle technology provides data that cannot be acquired by autonomous vehicles at the current level of autonomous driving technology, such as traffic lights, pedestrians in blind spots, illegally parked vehicles, through wireless vehicle communication technology that has ultra-low latency of less than 0.1 second (5G + WAVE) to support safe operation of autonomous vehicles on city roads together with smart road infrastructure. Such connected vehicle technology is recognized as an essential element for safe operation of autonomous vehicles on city roads as it can eliminate the use of high-cost vehicle sensors, such as light detection and ranging (LIDAR) sensors, and prevent traffic light recognition errors. With the presentation as a start, the SMG expects that the newly introduced connected vehicle technology will be able to spread nationwide, resulting in dramatic reduction in traffic accents, and laying the foundation for all drivers in Korea to benefit from the connected safety service that warn them of dangers ahead.
Safe and IndustryFriendly Personal Mobility Policies CEO Cha Doo Won (CHA Mobility Research Institute) In 2020, Seoul’s public bike sharing service, Ttareungi, was rented 3,705,000 times in total.
On average, 64,946 people used the service per day, and this indicates a 24% increase from 2019 when an average of 52,260 people used the service every day. Over the three months from February to April when the first mass spreading event of COVID-19 occurred in Korea, the number of users increased by whopping 59.1% year on year. The accumulated number of user is 2,786,000. The service is very popular with one in every four Seoul residents being a Ttareungi user. Shared electric scooter (e-scooter) services that first appeared in Seoul at the end of 2018 now have 210,000 users as of April, 2021. This is 6 times increase from the previous year.The number of e-scooters circulating in the city is also increasing rapidly. Shared e-scooter services which were first introduced at the end of 2018 now circulate 16,580 units as of May, 2020. The number of e-scooters increased to 35,850 units distributed by 16 service providers. It is estimated that there are about 40,000 units of e-scooters currently circulating in the market. This is the result of the quantity competition sparked by the entrance of global players, such as Lime and Beam, in the domestic market that was previous dominated by Korean companies, such as Gcooter, Ssing Ssing, Olulu and Swing. Unlike the North American and European markets where shared e-scooter services experienced stagnation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of users in the Korean market increased by 5.8 times from 37,000 users in 2019 to 214,000 users in April, 2020 (based on Android app users). Citizens who wished to avoid public transportation due to the spread of COVID-19 were naturally attracted to personal mobility (PM). It was a great chance for e-scooters to stabilize its position as an environmentally-friendly means of transportation. The US (i.e. New York) and the UK, which used to oppose the introduction of shared e-scooter services on their roads now have changed their attitudes, actively promoting safety-based integration of the services through expansion of bike paths and services. Service providers based in North American and European markets which faced difficulties posed by COVID-19 have now also entered a recovery phase. However, their performances in the Korean market shows the opposite. Sales revenues of shared e-scooter service providers operating in the Korean market have halved recently. Due to the Revision on the Road Traffic Act that took effect on May 13, all riders must wear a helmet, and will be subject to a KRW 20,000 fine when they fail to do so. Although wearing a helmet is also compulsory for bike riders, the law exists only on paper. In September, 2018, the SMG already launched a free bike helmet rental program along with the mandatory helmet wearing for Ttareungi users. The SMG placed 1,500 helmets at 30 Ttareungi rental locations in Yeouido for a month. However, the program did not show much effectiveness with only 3% of the users using the helmets, and 23.8% of the helmets ended up being lost. Users generally do not feel comfortable using helmets shared with other people due to the risk of catching COVID-19, and other sanitary issues. Carrying a personal helmet is also quite burdensome and inconvenient for most last mile users. Although there is no official statistics on this, it is observed that users of Neuron Mobility, which offers e-scooters installed with helmets, often do not wear the provided helmets. Although a legislation was enacted to make it compulsory for riders to wear a helmet, wearing a helmet is hardly the solution to all safety issues. In many countries including the US, the UK, Germany, France, Canada, Australia, Japan, and Singapore, wearing a helmet is a mandatory requirement for teenagers and children, but it is only a recommendation for adults. Many countries are developing more comprehensive policies to increase road safety such as setting maximum speed limits, applying lower speed limits for city centers where there are many pedestrians, and increasing the minimum tire size to 9 or 10 inches. Interaction between devices that occupy the same operating space must be considered as well. In Korea, e-scooters can be operated on bike paths, and on the edge of roads in the absence of bike paths. According to the Seoul Metropolitan Fire & Disaster Headquarters, the number of accidents involving bicycles, e-scooters and motorcycles in 2019 were 8,042 cases, 117 cases and 13,791 cases, respectively. Human casualties caused by these accidents were 6,211 people, 105 people, and 9,582 people, respectively. Despite various safety measures being put in place, the number of accidents involving bicycles and motorcycles is not decreasing. The number of traffic accidents involving e-scooters, with the increasing number of scooters serviced in the market, is increasing. As shown in the statistics from 2018 to 2020, there is a high rate of vehicle-to-vehicle collisions among e-scooter accidents while 6.6% bicycle accidents are bicycle-to-human collisions (1,560 cases). In the current situation where the number of bicycles and two-wheeled vehicles is increasing, the SMG plans to implement a low-speed, designated-lane test run. The test run will include setting the speed limit of personal mobility including e-scooters to 20 km/h, and 10 km/h for inevitable operation on sidewalks, and setting the designated operation road to the first lane (the rightmost lane) to facilitate safe operation of bicycles, e-scooters, and low-speed vehicles. It will serve as an example of personal mobility policies for other local governments in the future. It is deemed as an appropriate measure not only for the increasing number of personal mobility, but also for low-speed means of transportation designed for goods delivery. However, the policy makers would have to not only consider the driving environment, but also prepare comprehensive measures which take various things such as device design requirements and helmets into account to promote the vitalization of the newly emerging PM industry, including e-scooters.