South Korea’s largest ride-hailing service provider SoCar, amid issues surrounding its legality, received support from the Korea International Trade Association (KITA), collaborating to test novel solutions in a real-world setting.
The trade body and Tada owner signed a memorandum of agreement last week to partner on conducting testbed projects for SoCar’s new technology and solutions.
According to KITA, it would be the first private project to support promising startups since it launched its startup testbed project last year. KITA’s program provides an opportunity for startups to facilitate a proof-of-concept study at COEX in Seoul. The solutions would be tested in a real-life environment situation.
Through the collaboration, SoCar will demonstrate its vehicle tracking system at the rooftop parking lot of COEX for three months. The testbed project would start late in February.
Before the collaboration, SoCar has not yet been able to locate a site to test its novel solutions. The company hopes to increase the convenience of its customers with its solutions. Lately, users are having problems with vehicle drop off and pick up in complicated places.
The selected site for the test is COEX’s rooftop parking lot big enough to allow 600 vehicles to park simultaneously. SoCar said that the space is an excellent place to demonstrate the effectiveness of the new solution. The company expects that the study will improve the system helping to reduce the error in vehicle return and pick-up.
KITA and SoCar expect the partnership to bring another incentive to normalize the car-sharing provider’s mobility business amid the recent regulatory setbacks and multiple challenges coming from Seoul’s traditional taxi industry. Last week, however, the Seoul Central District Court ruled in favor of SoCar deeming its Tada service legitimate.
KITA and SoCar would also promote and run the project as partners. They would also add more projects to the service provider’s technologies and solutions.
Lee Dong-ki, said that KITA would keep expanding partnerships with more startups. He added that they will provide resources and assistance in testing and bringing more business opportunities worldwide. Lee is the director of the innovative growth center at KITA.