Seoul begins roll-out of smart bus shelters

The smart shelter is fully equipped with air conditioners, heaters, air sterilisers, wifi and safety features and uses artificial intelligence to control passengers getting on and off buses.

Seoul has introduced a smart bus shelter in the Sungnyemun Gate area of the city centre.

The high-tech, modular designed shelter is equipped with air conditioning and heating, air purifiers, public wifi, smart LEDs as well as safety facilities to help improve passenger experience. convenience.

Visually impaired passengers

In addition, artificial intelligence (AI) technology will help guide visually impaired passengers boarding and getting off the buses, provide foreign language assistance, and display arrival times of buses.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) plans to introduce an additional shelter in the Hongik University area in August; in the Hapjeong Station area on 2 September and in the Gonghang-daero area in November 2021. The shelter can also generate its own electricity through solar panels on the ceiling.

All functions within the shelter are controlled in real-time through the integrated control system and the Internet of Things. Based on the Topis (Seoul transport operation and information services) data, the shelter can designate where the buses are supposed to stop at stations, control the opening/closing of screen doors and climate control.

To help prevent spread of Covid-19, SMG reports the screen doors will remain open during this period while an infrared air steriliser will purify the air and hand sanitisers will also be available. Air quality is automatically measured and shown on an electronic display.

The shelter is also equipped with other safety features including intelligent video systems and CCTV.

If the transportation-vulnerable press an alert button while waiting for a bus, they will be informed when low-floor buses are expected to arrive; at the same time, the alert message is sent to bus drivers that the passengers are waiting.

The SMG said it will continue the pilot of the smart shelter until August 2023 and then analyse the profit/cost data of the operation to inform its further roll out.

“Seoul will strive to contribute to improving the transportation convenience for bus passengers by thoroughly analysing the project feasibility and effectiveness, and citizens’ complaints to find solutions”, said Baek Ho, deputy mayor for city transportation, Seoul Metropolitan Government.