SEOUL – South Korea announced on Monday an ambitious plan to build in the next three years a network of smart expressways, adapted to electric vehicles and self-driving cars, to limit traffic congestions and polluting emissions.
The government will invest $33.1 billion and plans to raise another $31.3 billion through private sector investment to finance the plan until 2020, the South Korean transport ministry said in a statement.
The new network that will add to other measures by the South Korean government, including tax cuts, to encourage the use of electric vehicles, will come equipped with charging stations for electric vehicles at key junctions.
Intelligent transportation systems, or ITS, will also be installed to ensure safety of autonomous vehicles and prevent accidents through a virtual structure of traffic monitoring.
The government also plans to incorporate a smart toll system that will not require the installation of booths nor stop or slow down vehicles.
The project also includes the construction of an additional 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) of expressways that will extend the country’s total road network to 5,131 kilometers (3,188 miles).
According to plan, 96 percent of the country’s 50 million inhabitants will be able to access these expressways in less than 30 minutes.
The expressways will make 78.2 percent of South Korea’s total area accessible, up from the present 70 percent, according to the ministry.