South Korea’s government has designated Pangyo, a satellite city south of the capital Seoul, as a demonstration zone for autonomous vehicle technologies and related services.

The district is the seventh demonstration zone set up over the last year by the country’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport to accelerate the development of autonomous driving technology and mobility services such as car-sharing and self-driving taxi-hailing.

Pangyo already boasts road infrastructure for self-driving cars including a control tower and an advanced internet of things service network that enables, for instance, traffic lights to communicate with each other and vehicles using vehicle-to-everything communication technology.

The programme at Pangyo aims to seamlessly connect public transport with autonomous shuttles, premium taxi-hailing, and inter-linked last-mile mobility services. Demonstrations will begin as early as July 2021. Mobility services will be offered free or for a small fee.

“The experience gained at the autonomous vehicle technology demonstration zone would become an important footstone for companies that are preparing to commercialize their services,” said Vice Transport Minister Hwang Seong-kyu. Furthermore, he added, “More demonstration zones will be set up across South Korea to accelerate the commercialisation of services and have citizens familiarise themselves with new technologies.”