SEOUL -- Through a newly-adopted ordinance, Seoul has opened new roads for the first commercial operation of autonomous shuttles and taxis in a designated area. Autonomous shuttle services have been demonstrated in various cities in South Korea. Commuters think self-driving mini van-type vehicles are convenient as they can carry passengers from residential areas to nearby subway stations.
The ordinance for the commercial operation of autonomous vehicles took into effect on July 20. Operators can receive fares from passengers. Government subsidies will be offered to help improve services. "Through the setup of the new ordinance, we will accelerate the commercialization of autonomous mobility services and upgrade Seoul to a world-leading future mobility innovative city," Baek-ho, who heads Seoul's urban transport service division, said in a statement.
The capital city has also set up regulations and standards for the application of licenses for commercial vehicle operation. To popularize the commercial service of autonomous shuttles, Seoul will upgrade city infrastructure including dedicated lanes, bus stops, road signs and payment systems.
Along with a shuttle service, Seoul will expand its smart vehicle service to provide an autonomous delivery service. Self-driving trucks will deliver heavy objects purchased from local markets to homes.
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