The Korean government will accelerate the creation of Korean-type Smart City by drastically easing regulations to foster self-driving cars and drones.
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport reported this regulation reform plan in a regulatory innovation forum at Cheong Wa Dae (Korea’s White House) on January 22.
First, the deregulation will significantly cut time to process a temporary permit to allow autonomous car test drives to four days from current 24 in order to spur the creation of an environment for self-drive cars’ commercialization in 2020.
In addition, safety standards such as those on autonomous car production and performance will be set up so that private companies can start autonomous vehicle production in earnest.
The nation’s auto insurance system will be overhauled to take quick care of those who suffer from a traffic accident involving a driverless car and clarify the car owner’s and the manufacturer’s responsibilities.
The government will also improve or ease various regulations on drones by introducing a regulation sandbox. Various regulations and permission and approval procedures made it difficult for civilians to have access to such drones as drones for special purposes for the military, police and firefighters, drones to precisely check surly weather, the environment and cultural assets and drones for ocean patrol. But this time, the government will make a big improvement to such regulations and procedures. Criteria on drone classification standards will be changed from weight and usage to risk and performance and a negative regulation system will be applied to make users of toy-class low-performance drones honor basic rules such as abiding by altitude limits and bans on flying over restricted areas only.
However, the government will strengthen safety regulations on high-performance drones such as safety certification, pilot qualifications and drone insurance to strike balance with the above-mentioned deregulation plan. The Korean-type K-Drone System will be developed to support the government-led registration of drones, drone history management, remote self-regulatory and group flights. "The K-Dron System will be developed by 2021 and start empirical research starting in 2022, and will prepare for a future unmanned aviation era where drone courier services and unmanned air taxis will emerge," said an official of the Advanced Aviation Department at the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.
In addition, the government will go ahead with deregulation in accordance with local characteristics in order to spread Smart Cities. Smart City is a future city that solves various urban problems such as traffic and environmental issues by combining new technologies such as ICT and big data. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport will finalize the selection of candidates for pilot Smart City later this month and apply the regulation sandbox. In the construction of the pilot city, restrictions on company sizes will be eased so that large companies will be able to participate. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport will aggressively integrate Smart City technologies by designating two locations in 68 areas which take the lead in the Urban Renewal New Deal project. "We designated one Smart City pilot city and are currently interviewing candidates," said an official of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.