In the city of Gumi, South Korea, The Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) has installed the first Korean road that can electromagnetically charge certain buses while they drive.
These special buses are called Online Electric Vehicles (OLEVs). OLEV buses can be charged wirelessly and don’t use gasoline.
“This new technology allows Korea to show its potential in developing safe and conservational alternatives in public transportation,” sophomore Tae-Hwan Yoo, from Sunny Hills High School said. “It’s another step to a ‘greener’ Korea.”
After OLEV production was completed at the KAIST campus, Gumi began to provide its citizens with OLEV transportation starting on Aug. 6. For now, only two OLEV buses are available to the public. According to BBC News however, by 2015, approximately ten buses will be in public use.
“It’s quite remarkable that we succeeded with the OLEV project so that buses are offering public transportation services to passengers,” KAIST professor Dong-Ho Cho said in a public statement on the KAIST website.
The road leads from Gumi to the In-dong District in an approximately 15 mile round-trip.
The OLEV buses are charged by the recently developed Shaped Magnetic Field in Resonance (SMFR) technology which allows them to receive signals from magnetic cables in the roads. The buses then take these signals and transform them into usable electricity. In the case of emergencies, however, gasoline is always stored in the OLEV buses.
The buses and the roads both comply with international electromagnetic rules to ensure that they do not hurt passengers. In fact, the cables inside the roads are even equipped with the ability to tell whether the vehicle above them is an OLEV bus. If not, the electromagnetic fields shut off, further decreasing risk of too much electromagnetic exposure.
“As of today, the SMFIR technology supplies 60 kilohertz and 180 kilowatts of power remotely to transport vehicles at a stable, constant rate,” KAIST said in a statement on its website.
After its debut in Gumi, the technology is expected to make a worldwide appearance.
“This is certainly a turning point for OLEV to become more commercialized and widely accepted for mass transportation in our daily living,” said Cho.