The Jeju Special Self-Governing Province announced that the section between Jeju International Airport and Jungmun Tourist Complex (Pyeonghwa-ro) is designated as a pilot operation area for autonomous vehicles.
As part of the urban development project that establishes an electric vehicle-based autonomous driving service platform, Jeju Province is proactively responding to the national government’s future automobile industry development strategy, promoting the designation as a self-driving vehicle pilot operation zone, and discovering and expanding to new markets.
In July, the province applied for three zones* for the consideration of autonomous vehicle pilot operation, a project promoted by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, which was pre-evaluated and deliberated by the ministry and the Working Committee.
* Zone 1: Jeju International Airport-Jungmun Tourism Complex (Pyeonghwa-ro), Zone 2: Jeju Science Park-Jeju National University-Jeju International University, Zone 3: Haenyeo Museum-Haenyeo Diving Village (Haemaji Coastal Road)
Upon deliberation, the section between Jeju International Airport and Jungmun Tourist Complex (Pyeonghwa-ro), Zone 1, was deemed appropriate. The Deliberation Committee** finally decided to designate it as an autonomous vehicle pilot operation zone on November 20.
** A government committee comprised of vice-minister level officials of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport and four other ministries (Ministry of Economy and Finance, Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of SMEs and Startups, and National Police Agency), and twelve experts in the fields of automobile, transportation, telecommunication, and urban development from the private sector
The designated section of the autonomous vehicle pilot operation zone is a 38.7㎞-path connecting the Jeju International Airport to Jungmun Tourist Complex via Doryeong-ro, Nohyeong-ro, Pyeonghwa-ro, and Hanchang-ro, and about three㎢ into the Jungmun Tourist Complex.
The Jeju Airport-Jungmun Tourist Complex pilot operation zone has the advantage of having various roads and weather test conditions from Jeju’s intelligent road traffic infrastructure (C-ITS, next-generation intelligent transportation system), advertisement effect through world-famous tourist destinations, and continued demand for passenger services. The demand from autonomous vehicle service companies is expected to be high.
Currently, the technological level of domestic autonomous vehicles is about 80% of the leading countries (Korea Institute for Industrial Economics, 2018), and it is urgent to secure domestic technological competitiveness before foreign companies enter the country.
Jeju Province is considered to have the optimal conditions as a testbed for domestic startups to develop autonomous driving technologies.
Following the designation of the autonomous vehicle pilot operation zone, the province plans to form a safety management committee and issue special pilot licenses for autonomous driving that provides an exemption from regulations by examining the suitability of paid services and verifying the safety operation design of the service operators.
The safety management committee members will be from the host institution, related institutions, and the private sector.
It will examine the suitability of the service operators on their operation of self-driving vehicles in general. At the zone, the province plans to conduct a demonstration of paid transportation services in accordance with “the Autonomous Vehicles Act” by providing special permissions that excusing operators from certain regulations, such as permitting paid transport of passengers and exempting vehicles from safety standards.
In addition, demand-response smart limousine shuttles will be operated in the autonomous vehicle pilot operation zone with paid transportation services of 5 vehicles in the first year and 30 vehicles or less in the second year.
The services are expected to operate from the second half of next year after completing the preparation process in the first half of next year.
Moreover, the province will pursue the designation of an additional pilot autonomous driving zone in Jeju Science Park, which was eliminated in this deliberation.
Yoon Hyeong-seok, Director of the province’s Future Strategy Bureau, said, “We will lead the development of regional autonomous vehicle industry and foster professional workforce by attracting leading related institutions and specialized industries to build an urban platform for autonomous vehicle services.”
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