Seoul’s smart poles to charge EVs and drones

Seoul Metropolitan Government smart poles

Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) has announced plans to construct 190 additional smart poles (S-poles) in four districts of the south Korean capital by the end of this year.

The move follows installation of 26 S-poles by SMG in February at six locations including Seoul Plaza, Sungnyemun Gate, and Cheonggyecheon stream.

City infrastructure

S-poles are a city infrastructure where traffic lights, streetlights, closed-circuit televisions (CCTVs), and security lights are combined. They are also equipped with information and telecommunications technologies (ICT), such as public wi-fi, smart CCTVs, IoT sensors, and drones.

The new pilot project involves advanced versions of the S-poles with charging stations for electric vehicles (EVs) and drone stations.

When installing the initial 26 poles, SMG reports it was able to establish appropriate operation guidelines and standard models for institutionalisation and expansion of the poles. The 190 additional smart poles will be erected in Guro, Dongjak, Gangdong and Jongno.

Customised smart poles equipped with CCTVs will also be installed in Hangang Park. These poles are expected to increase the city’s emergency response capacity with its “abnormal sound detection”.

When an abnormal sound is detected, the CCTV will rotate in the direction of the sound to capture the footage. In addition, the SMG can add “intelligent warning lights” to the poles. By ringing a siren-like sound, the lights will indicate an emergency with the aim of getting help faster.

In the latter half of 2021, Seoul intends to carry out a pilot project to enhance the functionality of S-poles by embedding electric vehicle chargers and drone stations in them. This will help the city to address the shortage of charging stations and transform itself into a green city. The SMG said it will also consider using drone stations for monitoring disasters and to help save lives.

“S-poles are the core infrastructure of a smart city, which can reduce the cost while improving the scenery, safety, and convenience,” said Lee Won-Mok, director general of smart city policy, SMG.

“We will work on developing newly-demanded features for smart cities from electric car charging to drone-related technologies to create smarter urban infrastructures.”

To enable systematic expansion and institutionalisation of S-poles throughout the city, Seoul completed 10 standard models and installation and operation guidelines. The 10 standard models have a flexible set of functions that can be added or combined based on the surrounding environment’s needs.

The guidelines include application plans for information service based on object recognition, urban phenomenon analysis based on S-DoT (Seoul’s data collection IoT sensors), and city guide QR code.

According to SMG, it also has built a foundation for the future where autonomous driving and telecommunications technologies are connected through cooperative-intelligent transport systems (C-ITS) and a 5G signal repeater.


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