Seoul Introduces a Virtual Reality Driving Zone to Help Test Autonomous Vehicles

Seoul Introduces a Virtual Reality Driving Zone to Help Test Autonomous Vehicles

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The Seoul Metropolitan Government is building a virtual reality driving zone within the city to enable the people or businesses to test autonomous vehicles.

The project is a part of the cooperative intelligent transport system (C-ITS) construction project. The VR simulator is powered by innovative digital twin technologies to replicate the road, traffic, and weather conditions prevalent in the city. Moreover, the simulator is open and free to use for the public, and any organization, business, or educational institution.

“We will open and expand our online platform for autonomous test driving powered by world-class digital twin technologies,” said Baek Ho, Seoul’s Deputy Mayor for City Transport.

The government aims to transform Seoul into a city of commercialized autonomous vehicles, making it a global hub for companies, manufacturers, and innovators to visit and test self-driving technologies.

Understandably, the authorities believe that with more developers or participants using the simulator to test various scenarios, the city can explore more opportunities to enhance autonomous vehicle technology. The initiative can help the industry on a global scale and become a pioneer for more such projects being launched worldwide.

As per the information disclosed by the city, autonomous driving simulators can cost between 100-200 million won or USD 78,500 to USD 157,000. Moreover, the comprehensive technology is currently imported from overseas. Therefore, there is a significant financial barrier for schools and companies in South Korea to enter the industry and test their ideas.

Now, with this initiative incorporating digital twin technology, they get free access to a detailed 3D map featuring urban infrastructure, including buildings and streets, traffic conditions, child protection zones, and weather conditions, such as rain, to accurately simulate numerous scenarios.

Furthermore, Seoul plans to expand the virtual map to represent autonomous driving from Sangam to Gangnam and the city center.

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