The government of South Korea has a new urban project in hand, a city in which no one will live. It is called K-City and will debut its pavements in October, becoming the biggest artificial city in the world and tripling the size of MCity in Michigan, USA.
Its 360,000 square meters will be full of cement curves, traffic lights, traffic signals, bus lanes, parking areas, gardens and highways to test all types of autonomous driving vehicles.
According to research by the firm Gartner Forecasts, by 2020 there will be 25 billion vehicles connected to each other with autonomous technology.
But to develop such systems it is necessary to have an infrastructure that allows them to see how they would work in the real world, to avoid accidents and fatal flaws.
There are already several companies that want to roll the wheels of their vehicles through the streets of K-City.
Among them, the telecommunications company SK Telecom, the Internet provider Naver and the multinational giant Samsung Electronics. Also participating are Hyundai Motor Company, the largest Korean automaker, and South Korea’s Kia Motors.
A network of engineers and software professionals work in the development of this smart city that, for the moment, is still under construction. K-City will imitate the real metropolis so that companies can repeat their experiments again and again without endangering the life of any citizen.
According to South Korea’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, K-City will operate on the basis of intelligent transportation systems managed by the security authorities of the Asian nation without the need for permits.
South Korean officials are hoping to open the first highway tests in the second half of this year and add new structures to fully open the rest of its facilities throughout 2018.
However, some experts from the Business Korea business daily suggest that the project should have more professional engineers and more platforms because pavement experiments will provide key data for future urban development plans, auto insurance and new autonomous vehicle systems. Experts also suggest that they should be involved in addition to larger companies, smaller automotive startups and others that develop software and communications systems.
The world’s largest auto-steering complex will recreate the obstacles a vehicle can find in any city in the world. To do so, he will refer to the city of Michigan Mcity, including a series of scenarios and road environments such as intersections, traffic signs, street lamps, building facades, sidewalks, roundabouts, bridges, tunnels and construction obstacles.
K-City is not the first complex smart city in which autonomous cars have been tested, but it does aim to be the test city for self-guided cars in the world. Of course, the national project, intended not to get rid of the other countries in question of autonomous driving, seems to aim very high. It remains to be seen if such an investment of time, space and money achieves the expected results and allows the South Korean country to position itself alongside the motorized vanguard.