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Seoul's latest public transport method: self-driving cars Updated: 2022-02-11 08:02:15 KST

"There are many ways people can get around in Seoul.
From subways to buses and taxis.
But from Thursday, visitors to Sangam-dong have a new option.
Self-driving vehicles."

From last year, Seoul Metropolitan City has been test-running its first autonomous vehicle hailing service.
Finally, from this week it has started commercializing this service to visitors in the Sangam-dong neighborhood of western Seoul's Mapo-gu District.
There are a total of four driverless vehicles available.
They all follow two designated routes picking up and dropping off passengers at specific locations around the neighborhood.

"Right now I'm calling a driverless vehicle to go to DMC station.
If you see right here, I can choose where I will get on and off using the app called "TAP."
The app then calls the nearest vehicle.
Regardless of how far you go and how many people you're riding with each ride costs 2-thousand wonwhich is a little over a dollar."

The car moves by itself at almost all times.
It's able to sense traffic lights and recognize pedestrians when turning right.
Hello, I'm Akit. It's been a month since I got my driver's license.
Just because I'm a beginner driver, doesn't mean I should stay scared at home.
I'll try my best to become the best driver that takes you around safely.

But a safety driver is also at the wheel to take over in case of an emergency or when going through a child protection zone.

As Thursday was the first day since the service launched… not many people knew about it.
But those who did said they were willing to try it out.

“I had no idea that we could use these cars. But I’d like to try because it’d be convenient to move around Sangam-dong with this service.”

“At first I was a bit scared that I might end up in a car accident. But I think it’d be worth a shot with my friends, because it’s fascinating to be in a car without a driver.”

Seoul city is aiming to expand the number of self-driving vehicles to 12 including one driverless bus by the end of December.
By 2026 the city hopes to run more than 50 autonomous vehicles in Sangam-dong alone.
Shin Ye-eun, Arirang News.
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