– The guide for companies that want to show innovative autonomous driving ideas

– Created new business opportunities based on accumulated know-how, data, and company connection

Autonomous driving should do more than just moving a car to the destination with no intervention from the driver. It should be able to react in real time by detecting dangerous situations around itself like how humans do and even consider the possibility of accidents. In order for autonomous driving to be advanced, cars, roads, and transportation systems must become intelligent. If one axis of autonomous driving is car, one axis can be seen as roads and transportation system, and this is the reason for the need for mutually linked demonstrations. Pangyo Zero City, an autonomous driving demonstration complex in Pangyo based on an open platform, tests autonomous vehicles and related technologies and infrastructure, and creates a foundation for companies to naturally cooperate and communicate in the autonomous driving demonstration process. Pangyo Zero City is operated by the Advanced Institute of Convergence Technology Gyeonggido Autonomous Driving Center, which creates a link between the demonstration of autonomous driving companies and mutual cooperation.

Q. Please introduce the Gyeonggi Autonomous Driving Center and Pangyo Zero City.

To small and medium startup companies in Korea to compete with global companies, we need at least the infrastructure to increase their competitiveness. Gyeonggido created a demonstration complex to build such an infrastructure, and prepared a demonstration complex to test autonomous vehicles and related technologies within the demonstration complex safely. This is what Pangyo Zero City is.

The Gyeonggi Autonomous Driving Center was established in May last year to operate and manage Pangyo Zero City and support demonstration research. It is located in the 2nd Pangyo Technovalley. It was created with the establishment goal of creating an autonomous driving industry ecosystem, and it supports the infrastructure, integrated control, and data necessary for commercialization of autonomous driving to serve as a test bed for products and technologies that implement autonomous vehicles and autonomous driving.

(Photo caption: Companies participating in Gyeonggido Autonomous Driving Center demonstration project)

Pangyo Zero City can test not only autonomous driving cars, but also companies to test infrastructure such as IoT-based sensors and communication devices that can support autonomous driving cars on the road. In addition to this, a new platform is required for the implementation of mobility services, which have become a hot issue in recent years. When the infrastructure and autonomous vehicles connected to the control platform which Pangyo Zero City has, and when a new mobility service platform is connected, the demonstration on the mobility service can be shown.

Q. What is the biggest difference between the existing autonomous driving R&D support business organizations and the Gyeonggido Autonomous Driving Center?

The most distinguishing aspect of the support project of the Gyeonggido Autonomous Driving Center from the support from the existing public institutions is that it does not just support R&D business funds, but a research organization called the Advanced Institute of Convergence Technology participates directly in the operation of the Gyeonggido Autonomous Driving Center. This enables the companies to share issues and cooperate to solve the problems. Especially, Gyeonggido Autonomous Driving Center is providing support in advance to help companies before their needs arise.

One of the major examples is the autonomous driving bus called Zero Shuttle. It was developed to first check whether an autonomous vehicle can safely drive autonomously without a driver and provide convenience to people by utilizing the infrastructure of Pangyo Zero City. Particularly, we perform various tasks to minimize the risks of companies entering new markets while solving various legal and institutional problems arising in the demonstration process through Zero Shuttle and participating in regulatory reforms. This is what no other public institutions can perform,

Q. What role does Zero Shuttle play in the demonstration of autonomous driving?

We are not saying that the technology applied to the Zero Shuttle is a world-class technology. Global companies are far higher in technology level than government-funded researchers because global companies are more sensitive to changes in the industrial environment and can respond to trends more quickly. The Zero Shuttle can be seen as a starting point for declaring the beginning of autonomous driving. In other words, Zero Shuttle has a great significance in the sense that the small and medium startup companies can use Zero Shuttle to demonstrate the company’s technology and products, and it can be used as the public goods that checks the infrastructures like roads and transportation system by connecting the autonomous vehicles to test with Zero Shuttle. Along with this, our center has advanced the Zero Shuttle itself through continuous research so that it can be utilized well by the companies for demonstration testing.

Q. Many local governments are running autonomous driving-related businesses. Are you providing the infrastructure that are comparable to them?

Latecomers are inclined to build a better environment than those who have built infrastructure first. However, Pangyo Zero City developed a system based on an open platform so that all infrastructure except basic and essential facilities can be tested and developed or equipped with completed products and solutions to continue upgrading. For this reason, Pangyo Zero City can be called the first autonomous driving demonstration complex in Korea and the support organization that continuously accepts and upgrades advanced technologies.

Another difference is operation. Pangyo Zero City is operated by Gyeonggido Autonomous Driving Center under the Advanced Institute of Convergence Technology, not by an administrative organization. In other words, because research institutes participate in the operation and conduct research together, it is possible to better understand the needs of companies and solve them in advance, and communicate the needs of companies to the government more accurately.

Q. What do I have to do to use the infrastructure of the Gyeonggido Autonomous Driving Center or get support from it?

Gyeonggido Autonomous Driving Center provides V2X terminal rental, control monitoring, big data and cloud services for free upon requests from the organizations and companies that wish to test autonomous driving. When companies that want to use the infrastructure submit the technology test application, Gyeonggido Autonomous Driving Center provides an API that can be linked with the integrated control platform according to the test characteristics of the company through consulting. It supports facilities, infrastructure, and space optimized for demonstrative companies, such as providing two-way communication (Vehicle to Everything, V2X) that can connect vehicles and control platforms.

When participating in the demonstration test using the infrastructure of the Gyeonggido Autonomous Driving Center, it connects to companies, products, and technologies that will fill the shortcomings of participating companies through expert consulting. This is drawing a great response from companies in that it both solves difficult technology and also provides opportunities for securing and demonstrating a larger system, and creating new business. Gyeonggido Autonomous Driving Center is also acting as a bridge so that companies that have demonstrated and were recognized for their technology in the open platform of Pangyo Zero City can be connected to other public demand.

Q. Please tell us about the ultimate goal and future plans of Gyeonggido Autonomous Driving Center.

Our short term goal is to make many companies use Pangyo Zero City to the extent that the infrastructure and systems of the autonomous driving demonstration complex become full. And in the long run, we are preparing to open the road of integrating with other industries so that the big data collected as many companies perform activities within Pangyo Zero City can create new values. Other than this, we plan to play a new role in this aspect because our sensor and communication infrastructure can be used in making and maintaining road and for disaster safety.

There are quite a few opinions expressing concern about why the local government Gyeonggido is taking over the roles that companies should play in the field of autonomous driving. However, large companies are not solely responsible for implementing autonomous driving. Rather, the ability to create new results through creative ideas and quick challenges comes from startups. Since it is impossible for small and medium startups to enter the huge autonomous driving projects only by their power, local governments and public institutions have to provide assistance. I hope that you understand that Gyeonggi-do is operating the autonomous driving demonstration complex because such power can contribute to the growth of startups and make unexpectedly big results. If these technologies and products are returned to society again, people’s lives can be enriched.

As a part of the support, Gyeonggi-do held the 4th Pangyo Autonomous Mobility Show in the 1st and 2nd Pangyo Technovalley areas for three days from Oct. 15 to 17 in collaboration with KINTEX and the Advanced Institute of Convergence Technology. In this event, innovative products from eight companies that applied autonomous driving technology from automobiles to robots to drones were introduced, and various events such as the Zero Shuttle test drive developed by the Gyeonggido Autonomous Driving Center were held to enhance understanding of autonomous driving and created the atmosphere of industrial stimulation.

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2020-10-30T14:49:19+09:00