The Famous Millionaire Chapter 317
Numerous taxi drivers across the country came out to the streets to protest against Hyunwoo’s unmanned taxi idea.
“Are you going to take away our jobs and starve our families?”
“Let’s rise up against this unmanned taxi system!”
Some radical drivers made photos or dolls that looked like him and burned them.
Hyunwoo let out a sigh after watching their violent reaction.
Of course, he could understand their group action. Taxi driving was their means of survival and their jobs. If unmanned taxi replaced them, they would lose the means of survival.
And that was why they were up in arms against the unmanned taxi idea.
But Hyunwoo couldn’t give up. Given the current trend, the arrival of unmanned taxi was inevitable.
And there followed some ups and downs when one embarked on innovative changes in society. Hyunwoo experienced the same thing when he developed the Toughtex engine and Jahwa Solar Cell. How many people lost their jobs because of such innovative discovery?
Hyunwoo scratched his head and asked, “Do I really need to start this business despite such heavy criticism?”
He felt he could not give up, after all.
And he would not take away the taxi drivers’ means of survival right away. The automated driving system could not function effectively in crowded traffic downtown.
It was impossible to set aside drivers for the downtown unmanned taxi.
When he thought as far as that, his eyes popped up suddenly.
“I can do it!”
He could devise a plan to use unmanned taxi for both ways.
Namely, in crowded downtown traffic the unmanned taxi would require manual driving while the automatic driving system could work, as originally designed, in less crowded places.
Of course, it would be impossible for men to manually drive unmanned taxi in downtown areas every time, but using a remote-controlled driving system could be introduced.
Hyunwoo directed STM Research Center to improve the remote-controlled driving system, so it could be safely applied in crowded downtown.
The center successfully developed it in one year. The remote-controlled driver could size up the traffic situation with a total of six cameras for safe driving.
The test driving was done in Sosan City.
Sosan City had already grown into a large city with a population of 1.5 million.
There they found several defects in the unmanned taxi system, but the test driving was satisfactory. In six months, the test driving also achieved remarkable results in downtown Seoul.
Hyunwoo directed they produce 100,000 unmanned taxis immediately. At the same time, he hired 10,000 tax drivers, based on their experience in driving and geographical knowledge.
He promised to hire more through the media despite a massive protest rally by taxi drivers.
If he introduced this unmanned taxi system across the country, he would have to hire a total of 50,000 drivers.
Thanks to his firm promise, the people paid more attention to Hyunwoo’s plan than the taxi drivers’ protests.
Hyunwoo’s unmanned taxi system was a great success.
The new automatic unmanned taxi system was pretty effective with little risk of traffic accidents. It boasted of its fantastic safety, above all.
Hyunwoo expanded the unmanned taxi system to large cities including Seoul.
He hired a total of 50,000 drivers for this business. Of course, a lot more tax drivers lost their jobs, but the general public accepted the unmanned taxi system as a more reliable transportation system.
The main reason for their favorable response was the cheap fare.
Unmanned taxi composed of three types: luxury, four-passenger and eight-passenger taxi.
The taxi fare was a bit higher than the public transportation system. Based on the luxury model, the basic charge was 2,000 won for the first 10-km, and another 1,000 won after every 3km.
As the unmanned taxi was powered by Jihwa Solar Cell, the cost of fuel was minimal, and the remote-controlled driving was needed only in crowded downtown.
Thanks to the introduction of the unmanned taxi system, there was a big change in the public’s using transportation system. As they could use the unmanned taxi at a cheap fare, many of the people didn’t need to drive their cars.
As more and more unmanned taxis were on the roads, there were fewer and fewer private drivers on the downtown streets.
Besides, there was a drastic reduction in the emission gas. In the past, the public could have a clear view of Mt. Pukhan only after a big shower of rain, but they could see the mountains clearly anytime now.
Not only Seoul but also other large cities across the country enjoyed the benefits of cleaner air due to the unmanned taxi system.
Accordingly, there was a drastic increase in the number of people who used the unmanned taxi system. Across the country, about one million unmanned taxis were on the run.
But he didn’t hire any more drivers.
The roads were more pleasant than before, and many people realized the positive effects of the change brought by unmanned taxi system. Some citizens’ groups launched a campaign of “Let’s not use our cars!” to continue the virtuous cycle of the unmanned taxi system.
But there occurred some negative effects after the innovative unmanned tax system was introduced.
Some courageous couples began to use unmanned taxi as something like a movable inn.
Hyunwoo let out a long sigh.
“Damn it. How can they use it for their own pleasure like that?”
He could not stop them, though. Anyway, it was impossible to stop them.
It would be better to have them use it openly rather than secretly.
Hyunwoo devised the idea of ‘couple taxi’ for such couples. It was like a moving ‘love hotel.’
Toilet paper, water, condoms, and soft drinks were on sale inside such taxis.
However, the fare of couple taxis was ten times as high as the typical unmanned taxi.
Of course, this kind of business was not legal, but it didn’t violate an existing law.
Samryong Motors only provided such unmanned taxis, and the customers used them for such purposes.
Hyunwoo expanded the business of unmanned taxi into America, Europe, and Japan.
He didn’t just expand it because of greed. He did it because he confirmed a potential change in the existing society by bringing in such an innovative idea.
In particular, he paid special attention to the issue of the environment.
If he could more actively use solar power, there wouldn’t be the need for any more big power plants like nuclear power plants or thermal power plants.
For this, he needed to increase solar-light power generation, which obviously would need a huge lot for construction.
He joined hands with the mayor of Sosan for this project. He installed lots of Jihwa solar cells in many locations on local roads.
On the occasion of a successful launch of solar-light power generators in Sosan, Hyunwoo set up a plan to cover all the roads across the country and hopefully all the world’s roads and streets with Jihwa solar cells, so that ultimately these innovative sources of solar energy could fill the energy demands of the world.
In the meantime, the factories of Jihwa solar cells were constantly built around the world, including China, Vietnam, and India.
With the fast addition of Jihwa solar-cell factories, there came about a shock in the economies of those oil-producing countries in the world.
The situation was acute in Russia, in particular.
Russia’s official name is the Russian Federation composed of 21 republics, 56 states, ten autonomous regions, and two special cities.
Mostly, they supported the Russian Federation system because their inclusion in the system was more beneficial. But some republics and autonomous regions wanted independence.
Such a phenomenon was furthered as the Russian economy was gradually collapsing. In particular, the Far East region with the Yakutia republic and the Siberian region with the Buryatia republic were united under the name of the Vikal Federation to challenge the central government of Russia.
The Vikal Federation didn’t have a large population, but its size was vast enough to claim 60% of the whole Russian territory. Besides, it was rich with natural resources and had a good strategic location on the map. The central Russian government could never allow it to break away from the federation.
Alexander and Victor, who led the Vikal Federation, were of tough disposition.
In particular, Alexander was one of the most respected leaders in Russia.
So, Victor voluntarily conceded to him his post as the leader of the Vikal Federation, and he was content with serving as his deputy.
Alexander led the Vikal Federation as well as Victor expected.
When the Western powers offered military assistance, he flatly rejected.
“We’ll resolutely reject their military support.”
But Victor disagreed, “If we reject, we won’t sustain ourselves long enough.”
But Alexander persuaded him.
“This is not a fight between us and Russia. Many regions and republics in the south are also waiting for a good chance to rise against central Russia. So, we can manage the Russian interference without any outside support.”
In fact, the Western powers’ condition for their military support was simply unacceptable.
They wanted the right to develop the natural resources of the whole Siberia for 100 years.
But there came about a surprising factor in the internal strife in Russia.
The central Russian government began to annex other republics one by one without waging any war with them.
First of all, the Ural region joined hands with Russia, followed by the northwestern and southern regions.
Even the hardline Bolga district was absorbed into Russia.
And now the last remaining regions were the Chechen republic and the Vikal Federation.
Though the Chechenya strongly resisted, it would be a matter of time that it would fall into the hands of central Russia. And the next would be the Vikal Federation.
The Vikal Federation was now as dangerous as sitting on a barrel of gunpowder.
Alexander considered accepting the military support of foreign countries.
But the Western powers didn’t respond favorably this time. They indicated they would be willing to sell weapons but didn’t commit direct military assistance.
Alexander deeply agonized.
Then he suddenly thought of someone who could help him out.
‘Can he help us at all?’
Alexander sent a special envoy to Korea to see Hyunwoo Jang.