SK Telecom completes 5G self-driving car trial

07 Feb 2018

Screens of 5G video call and HD map that were mounted inside a self-driving car (Source: SK Telecom)

SK Telecom has completed a trial with the Korean Transportation Safety Authority (TS) involving two 5G self-driving cars sharing traffic information between the two vehicles.

During a pilot in K-City, Hwaseong, two autonomous vehicles jointly developed by SK Telecom and TS utilized vehicle-to-everything (V2X) 5G communications technology, a 3D HD map and deep-learning-based decision making technology to communicate with each other and share traffic information with a control center and traffic lights.

SK Telecom deployed a 5G network in the 28-GHz band covering all 360,000m2 of K-City for the trial.

The vehicles safely completed driving on a 2km track of K-City which included a school zone, crossroads and a highway. Using the 5G network, the self-driving vehicles communicated with the control center more than 100 times a second.

When the vehicles perceived a school zone area, they automatically slowed down. When a life-size model of a child was placed on a road, a CCTV set up to a streetlight immediately sent a message using 5G technology to the nearby self-driving vehicle.

The vehicle immediately stopped and did not start again until it was confirmed the model was no longer on the road.

The vehicles also raised speed to 60km/h when they entered the highway, and automatically slowed down and changed lanes when a vehicle collision ahead was encountered.

The HD map was meanwhile updated in real time with various information including nearby vehicles' real-time locations, traffic light signal and traffic information and highway construction. The autonomous vehicles used the map to make decisions based on this real-time information.

Starting next year, SK Telecom plans to introduce its 5G self-driving technology on South Korea's main highways, according to SK Telecom president of MNO business Suh Sung-won.

“We will continuously enhance our 5G prowess such as V2X and 3D HD map by taking advantage of the stability of our 5G network,” he said.

“Through our impeccable 5G technology, we will continue to contribute to the society by leading the era of safe self-driving.”

The company developed the AI technology to help self-driving cars make decisions in collaboration with Seoul National University and Nvidia.

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