At last week's Smart City World Expo in Barcelona, Jong-Sung Hwang, former CIO of the Seoul metropolitan government, informed of the city's attempt to capture real-time traffic data. For years the city invested millions of dollars in sensors embedded into the road infrastructure.
"But we failed again and again," said Hwang. "It cost a lot ... but the traffic information was not correct so could not be used." In 2012, however, the city's 25,000 taxis introduced a touchcard payment system using GPS technology, effectively giving Seoul the real-time traffic information it had long craved at a fraction of the cost. "A smart city can now use smart technology and solve problems without changing the city infrastructure", said Hwang.