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Seoul City arranges street show to demonstrate 5G converged self-driving technology

By Lim Chang-won Posted : May 29, 2019, 14:15 Updated : May 29, 2019, 14:15

[Courtesy of Seoul city government]

SEOUL -- The commercial operation of 5G services in South Korea created a lot of "industry-first", but many people do not realize their significance or just feel it chimerically. To make it more realistic, Seoul City will organize a street show in June to demonstrate self-driving technology by mobilizing 5G-based cars and buses.

The event on June 22 will show "5G converged self-driving" technology for the first time in the world, the Seoul city government said on Wednesday. Selected citizens will be allowed to ride on self-driving cars and buses that would run about 1.1 kilometers on a road near a World Cup stadium in western Seoul.

"With the Sangam self-driving festival, Seoul will become the world's first city to introduce 5G-based self-driving and commercial connected cars," said Ko Hong-seok, head of the Seoul city government's transportation department.

It would be an opportunity to demonstrate self-driving technology using a 5G communication network and V2X (vehicle to everything) technology. Vehicles and road facilities would be connected with a 5G network to respond to various traffic signal information and unexpected situations on roads.

City officials said it would be a connected car in a true sense by connecting V2v (vehicle to vehicle), V2P (vehicle to pedestrians) and V2B (vehicle to bicycles). Seoul plans to officially open a self-driving test bed in July in the same place where 5G self-driving buses will be put into test operation.

The June 22 event has been arranged as part of a state-sponsored project involving 17 research bodies, companies, university labs and other groups. Key business partners were SK Telecom (SKT), KT, Samsung Electronics and Unmanned Solution, a Seoul-based based self-driving vehicle technology company.

KT has developed connected car platforms, infotainment systems and vehicle control platforms. The telecom company partnered with Unmanned Solution to launch a 5G network-based autonomous shuttle service at theme parks and industrial complexes.

SKT has unveiled a high-definition map solution that would help autonomous vehicles navigate safely. The mobile carrier agreed with Seoul City this month to create a high-definition map database for Cooperative-Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS), a next-generation on-road information system, which uses 5G-based V2X technology to hook vehicles and road infrastructure onto a network.

The Korea Transportation Safety Authority (KTSA) is in charge of establishing a 5G network in "K-City" to be built in Hwaseong south of Seoul. The simulated city will have a highway, parking lots, local communities, living areas and complicated urban road conditions. Equipped with an infrastructure for connected car services, the simulated city will be used to test and develop self-driving technologies.

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