SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, July 20, 2021 – Today, the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) enacts and put “the Ordinance on Operation of and Support for Pilot Driving Zone for Autonomous Vehicles” into effect. Once the Ordinance takes effect, different commercial self-driving cars that citizens can pay and use as public transportation will be everywhere in the Sangam-dong area.
The key points of the Ordinance are creating a Committee of Autonomous Driving, setting license issuance procedures for commercial transportation and detailed safety standards, and preparing grounds for administrative and financial assistance.
First, the “SMG Operating Committee of Pilot Driving Zones for Autonomous Vehicles” will be established. The Committee will review and give advice on policies for self-driving cars and prove their safety.
Second, for citizens’ safe use of autonomous vehicles, the SMG has already come up with license issuance procedures for commercial transportation as well as detailed safety standards to verify driving capacities before issuing licenses.
Last but not least, the Ordinance includes administrative and financial aid at the city level, such as parking spaces exclusive to self-driving cars in public parking lots and stop signs for businesses of commercial self-driving transportation.
Along with the full implementation of the Ordinance, the SMG is going to recruit entrepreneurs to provide commercial self-driving transportation. After selecting proper business entities and having enough preparation period, the service will be available from October.
Selected businesses will begin various services in the Sangam-dong area, a “pilot driving zone for autonomous vehicles.” Seoul plans to unveil “autonomous bus” that circulates Sangam-dong, “autonomous riding service” that allows citizens to call a car via smartphone application at a designated route, and finally “special service for people with reduced mobility.” The vehicles that provide services for people with reduced mobility will also carry their wheelchairs.
By 2022, the SMG aims to expand the services from passenger transport to “autonomous cargo transport” that carries bulky products such as furniture as well as heavy grocery bags.
Meanwhile, the city government will release an application that provides car-hailing and booking services based on real-time driving information of all self-driving cars in the Sangam-dong area in partnership with the private sector.
“With the enactment of the Ordinance, the SMG will expedite the commercialization of autonomous mobility,” said Baek Ho, Deputy Mayor for City Transport. “We will mobilize our resources for self-driving cars to take root as our citizens’ daily transportation, and for Korean autonomous vehicle industry to lead the global market.”