Self-driving buses in public transport services in Korea

South Korea's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said Thursday it plans to start testing self-driving buses for public transport services in the Sejong administrative city next month as part of a project to Run the city's self-driving buses in 2022.

According to the ministry, there will be a driver behind the wheel of self-driving buses during the test period to intervene in case of necessity during the journey of bus length of 9.8 kilometers inside the city. Ordinary citizens will not be allowed to board these buses during the probationary period until the end of 2021.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency said the Korean government plans to operate self-driving buses with a reserve driver and allow citizens to use them in Sejong in 2022 before expanding their use elsewhere.

One of the characteristics of the self-driving bus is the possibility of stopping in places designated by passengers, which will be especially useful for people with disabilities. The disabled passenger will be able to determine where to park the bus either to board or disembark by using an application on his smartphone.

"The bus will know the passenger's request at each station and will work on the basis of this data," Kang Kyung-pyu, a researcher at the Korea Transport Institute, said during a test of a self-driving bus in the presence of journalists in Sejong City on Tuesday. Or get off their existing, as they can choose where they get off or ride the bus through the application on their smartphones. "

It is worth mentioning that these buses are currently working with the technology of the third level of self-driving, a level that allows it to run itself in stable operating conditions, but needs to have a driver behind the wheel in order to intervene in case of need.

KTI, Hyundai Motor, SK Telecom and Seoul National University were involved in the development of the 15-seat self-driving bus. This bus can change lane or stop before intersections even with other cars nearby.


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