Sangam DMC in Seoul will become a test platform for Cooperative Automated Driving: vehicles that can drive themselves. This will be the world’s first testbed that is able to assess all the vehicle communication networks used today, including 5G, and starting in mid-2019, a pilot “Automated Bus” will be circulating around the area.
Indeed, with its diverse roads, including tunnels and roundabouts, Sangam DMC was chosen by experts from the autonomous vehicle industry as the most preferred place for a testbed. Seoul City officially selected this area after taking into consideration its driving environment, its suitability for autonomous driving and its usability, as well as experts and business partners’ advice.
<Car-to-car and car-to-road exchanges of traffic information through sensors on the road and high-speed communication networks>
The “High-end Cooperative Automated Driving Pilot Site” is made of roads with built-in sensors and high-speed communication networks to allow real time car-to-infrastructure and car-to-car exchanges of traffic information. In case of sudden danger, such as a pedestrian in the car’s blind spot, a car driving on the wrong side of the road or a vehicle that suddenly stops, the sensors installed on the car and the road will detect the danger and exchange information with the cars around them in real time through the high speed communication network.
With the V2X (Vehicle to Everything) technology, these “Connected cars” will be able to mutually connect with their environment through the wireless network wherever they may be, just like smartphones. Indeed, these sensors will be the key to overcome the limits of autonomous driving and create a safer urban driving environment.
<The world’s first testbed to assess all vehicle communication networks used today, including 5G>
Cooperative Automated Driving, in particular, requires a fast and stable communication network as it needs precise real-time exchanges of information. To test all existing vehicle communication networks, Seoul City is establishing a vehicle network convergence infrastructure which includes 5G; C-V2X, a communication network that can connect with all cars; and Wave, a wireless communication network.
<Pilot test and commercialization test of the “Automated Bus” that will circulate in Sangam DMC by mid-2019>
With such Cooperative Automated Driving infrastructure, Seoul City will start operating an “Automated Bus” from the end of 2019 at the earliest. Starting with Digital Media City Station (Line 6), the bus will circulate around DMC’s major spots two to three times a day, free of charge.
If the tests on this pilot bus are successful, Seoul City plans on commercializing it through projects such as “One-touch Bus” to reach more isolated regions.