SEJONG, Aug. 30 (Korea Bizwire) – A testing site named ‘K-City’, a virtual city where autonomous cars will be tested in real road settings in preparation for transportation of the future is set to be built in the city of Hwaseong in Gyeonggi Province next year.
According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport on Tuesday, the opening ceremony for the construction of the autonomous car testing site K-City will take place on Wednesday, with minister Kim Hyun-mee in attendance at the Korea Transportation Safety Authority’s car safety research center located in the city of Hwaseong.
“Before the end of the year, a comprehensive roadmap of government support for autonomous driving will be laid out with plans to begin commercialization in 2020. I hope the world-class facility K-City becomes a stepping stone to our country’s autonomous driving technology,” Kim said.
Autonomous driving, which is one of the major technologies to represent the fourth industrial revolution, has seen cutthroat competition in recent years among automobile makers and information technology companies like Google.
The Ministry of Transport’s decision to invest nearly 11 billion won by the end of next year to build K-City on over 320,000 square meters of land comes on the heels of growing calls for a test bed area for autonomous vehicles, so that self-driving car technology can be put to the test in a real life environment that resembles real road settings.
As part of K-City, which will be a world-class testing site, a number of different types of city infrastructure will be built within the complex including highways, a city center, a suburban neighborhood and a parking lot, in an effort to create a virtual city with realistic road and traffic conditions.
In addition, 35 types of facilities and equipment will be set up ranging from tollgates, crossroads, railroad crossings, construction sites and tunnels so as to test and prepare autonomous cars for a variety of driving conditions, including unfavorable settings such as potholes, narrow streets and pedestrian crossings.
With the installation of the latest mobile telecommunications technology such as 4G and Wi-Fi, transport officials are hopeful tests conducted under a variety of driving conditions will make major contributions to the country’s autonomous driving technology development and verification.
With the construction of the highways scheduled to be complete by October, and the whole site by the end of next year, the transport ministry plans to open the testing site to private companies and academia as well as start-ups.