Created using digital twin technology, the Sangam Driving Zone is open to developers, universities as well as the public to help advance the city as a centre for commercialised self-driving vehicles.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) has announced it is building a pilot driving zone for autonomous cars.
Forming part of the cooperative intelligent transport system (C-ITS) construction project, the virtual reality autonomous driving simulator will reflect road, traffic, and weather conditions by using digital twin technologies.
According to SMG, by expanding the virtual territory to Gangnam and the city centre, it will enable Seoul to “leap forward” as a city of commercialised self-driving vehicles.
The autonomous driving simulator will be open to the public, and anyone from companies to research institutes, start-ups, and universities can use it free of charge.
SMG’s rationale is the greater the numbers of developers who test the simulator the more opportunity there is to improve their technologies, and help the industry to further advance.
The digital twin technology used for the project allows the city to have a detailed 3D map where urban infrastructures like buildings and street trees, realistic traffic conditions, child protection zones, and weather conditions, such as rain and snow, are accurately simulated.
“Also, we will take steps to make Seoul a city of commercialised autonomous vehicles where global companies visit to test their self-driving technologies”
SMG reports, in general, autonomous driving simulators cost KRW100m to KRW200m, and most of them are imported from overseas. As a result, schools and companies had to invest significant sums and effort into collecting related data to study and develop self-driving technologies.
“We will open and expand our online platform for autonomous test driving powered by world-class digital twin technologies,” said Baek Ho, deputy mayor for city transport, SMG.
“Also, we will take steps to make Seoul a city of commercialised autonomous vehicles where global companies visit to test their self-driving technologies.
In a separate announcement, SMG has unveiled the Open Lab, a virtual testbed service on S-Map, the city’s 3D map. S-Map is Seoul’s digital twin, where the city’s entire area is copied on a virtual platform. The digital twin S-Map provides the Open Lab service, an open source-based digital laboratory where experts can conduct experiments related to urban issues to find solutions.
The Open Lab provides 3D spatial data and information about the city administration. Researchers studying urban problems can utilise the provided data and turn their research results into a 3D model in the lab.
The SMG will update the Open Lab by August so that private companies and start-ups can develop new technologies related to artificial intelligence (AI), autonomous vehicles, and drones.
Seoul expects the lab to be an ideal environment where companies can test their drone simulation, AI-powered autonomous vehicle control, and AI robot delivery services.