Seoul, South Korea launched its latest all-night bus service on December 4. It uses driverless vehicles to transport passengers. It is the world’s first driverless overnight bus and will visit many Seoul tourist hotspots such as Dongdaemun, Hongdae, and Hopp. Wells and other places, if you are interested, you might as well give it a try!
Seoul launches world’s first driverless overnight bus
The world’s first driverless overnight bus has been put into service at 11:30pm on December 4. The new late-night bus “Midnight A21” mainly operates from Monday to Friday nights, from 11:30pm to 5:10am the next day, every 70 minutes The first bus mainly goes to and from Dongdaemun, Hongdae, Hapjeong and other tourist areas, passing through 20 stations. Currently, there is no charge to ride “Midnight A21”, but you need to follow the daily boarding and alighting procedures. You need to take a traffic card when getting on and off, but no amount will be deducted. SUM Self-Driving Bus Company, which signed a contract with the Seoul City Government to operate self-driving buses, plans to start charging fees in the first half of 2024, which is tentatively lower than the current basic fare of Seoul night buses of 2,500 won.
Are there drivers on the bus?
Although “Midnight A21” currently operates with an unmanned driving system, each bus will have a driver in the driver’s seat to monitor the entire driving situation. In the event of an emergency, it can be switched to manual mode. In addition, standing on the bus is prohibited, and no passengers will be allowed to board the bus once the seats are full. Every passenger needs to wear a seat belt, and there will be two on-board staff on board to ensure the safety of each passenger.
Reasons for implementation
Why are driverless overnight buses launched? SUM Self-Driving Bus Company explained that since bus drivers are older and older drivers are prone to fatigue, the driverless system can reduce their burden.
According to South Korean NEWSIS reports, the overall operation is stable, but it will change lines unnaturally many times and brake suddenly when arriving at the station. Although the latest late-night bus “Midnight A21” travels to many tourist areas in Seoul, due to the sparse frequency and the bus is still in the early stages of operation, the editor thinks that it can be a short-distance route, such as Sinchon Station to Hongik University Station, or Hapjeong Station to Hongdae Station, and long distance can be left until the driverless system matures before trying.
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