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Seoul Robotics Bases U.S. Operations in Peachtree Corners, Ga.

Transportation technology and smart infrastructure company Seoul Robotics will leverage assets like the Curiosity Lab and other features of Peachtree Corners, an Atlanta suburb known for its smart city leadership.

Two cars on a roadway.
The Curiosity Lab in Peachtree Corners, Ga., has installed solar power generation panels into the paving surface.
Submitted Photo/ Curiosity Lab
Transportation technology maker Seoul Robotics has located its U.S. operations in the Atlanta region — a setting that has proven to be a leader in connected transportation solutions.

The company is basing technology development and testing at the Curiosity Lab in Peachtree Corners, Ga., a quickly ascending leader in smart cities by nurturing emerging technologies.

“What we’ve been searching for, for some time, is a friendly location, a friendly city that wants to be on the forefront of technology and innovation, a city that wants to allow us to grow with their technology desires, but also allow us to grow with our technology development desires,” said William Muller, vice president of business development at Seoul Robotics.

The company’s technology hinges on developing 3D perceptions of the urban landscape using data generated from a range of sensor devices like lidar. The technology has been deployed in cities like Chattanooga, Tenn., in the buildout of 86 new smart intersections. Building on the work Seoul Robotics has been involved with in Chattanooga, Peachtree Corners saw itself as a good fit to grow the company and the technology.

“There was a good opportunity to have that as a part of our ecosystem,” said Brandon Branham, assistant city manager and chief technology officer.

Seoul Robotics is able to work “across multiple sensors,” Branham pointed out.

“And so we’ve been deploying different video, or lidar or other types of sensors, their platform is able to start merging these, and really building valuable insights and programs through that,” he explained.

Some of the applications for tying the Seoul Robotics technology into existing city systems can include additional forms of parking and traffic management, said Branham.

Locating operations in the Atlanta metro opens up opportunities for testing and deploying the Seoul Robotics technologies, interacting with other transportation technology firms, and accessing the kinds of professional talent the company needs, said Muller.

“We now need to build off of Chattanooga, and move to the next level, right on a major metropolitan city,” he added. “So it really made a lot of sense for us to go down this path and leverage the assets, the resources, the willingness to help and support that city, and especially the lab offered us an opportunity to move our operation to the Curiosity Lab itself.”

The next evolution of Seoul Robotics is to turn to data analytics and “use the technology to make the decisions, and push those decisions to the roadside devices or other technology,” Muller explained.

“Our next generation is now saying, we are now basically an intelligent detection device that’s able to make a decision for itself, and then push that decision to cloud devices,” he said.

This trajectory of intelligent transportation systems follows the evolution of similar technologies around connected vehicles and infrastructure, and the role Peachtree Corners and its city-owned Curiosity Lab have taken in setting up the city as a place for testing and introducing any number of technologies like 5G, autonomous vehicles, public-private technology partnerships and more.

The relationship between the city and Seoul Robotics is part of “the drive to make roads safer, smarter. And so how do we do that through the public and private arrangement,” said Branham. “And Curiosity Lab was kind of that foothold to be able to do that, because of the infrastructure and the opportunity that we’ve opened up to bring this collaboration of work together.”
Skip Descant writes about smart cities, the Internet of Things, transportation and other areas. He spent more than 12 years reporting for daily newspapers in Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana and California. He lives in downtown Yreka, Calif.