GUNSAN has drawn attention as the first local government establishing a new transportation infrastructure for sustainable tourism: a self-driving bus. The city’s eco-friendly transportation service drives new waves of sustainable tourism in local community. According to the city government, four autonomous vehicles started the test driving on Gogunsan Seonyu Island, where tourists’ loving spot full of greenness.

The city set up the new project called “One Go Gunsan Tourism Belt Creation Project”. It has been selected as one of the pilot-projects of the Regional Development and Investment Agreement by the Presidential Committee for Balanced National Development. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transportation approved the operation of driverless buses running 15 passengers. Successfully starting the first driving on 1.5 km from parking lot to the harbour, the buses extend the driving distance up to 3 kilometres.

The self-driving busses operate using sensors. The buses do not have driver’s seat and rear-view mirrors. Whenever bus detects obstacles, it automatically avoids. It also stops on traffic lights, recognises lanes and drives on pre-populated routes. Each bus travels at a slow speed of 25 kilometres per hour, making them the best means of transportation inside the Seonyu Island, not on a regular road.

Built on an electric vehicle system, the bus does not pollute or produce noise. This has contributed to the creation of an eco-friendly tourism ecosystem that is friendly to earth and restores clean air. The city expects the free robot shuttle bus can lead the revitalisation of local economy and create jobs although still struggling due to economic crisis and the closing factories of Hyundai Heavy Industry and GM motors in 2018. City authority of Gunsan commits to providing satisfactory tourism services to tourists visiting Gunsan City.

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