The era of Korean self-driving car has come. The South Korean government, such as the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (MSIP) and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT), has allocated new telecom frequencies for autonomous cars and expanded its test bed sector to roads across the nation, making policy support. Domestic mobile carriers have also made an effort to advance the driverless technology based on the fifth generation (5G) mobile communication technology in cooperation with relevant companies.
According to industry sources on October 31, SK Telecom is the first mover to establish a strategic alliance in the autonomous vehicle sector with related technology firms at home and abroad. The company has joined hands with US chipmaker Intel Corp. to develop and test its self-driving car integrated with the 5G technology on regular roads next year.
The two companies will cooperate for the development of “Vehicle-to-Everything,” or V2X, which is based on the existing 4G Long-Term Evolution Advanced (LTE-A) and 5G technology. V2X refers to technology embedded in connected automobiles that allows cars share information about traffic conditions with road infrastructure and other cars while driving.
On October 6, SK Telecom and Seoul National University (SNU) Intelligent Vehicle IT Research Center jointly developed the technology expanding the detectable range of autonomous vehicles using vehicle communication technology “V2X” and image recognition technology with the university’s driverless vehicle dubbed “SNUver” and demonstrated it at the Gwanak Campus of Seoul National University.
KT is focusing on creating the autonomous model complex, while LG U+ is seeking to establish various infotainment platforms to be used in connected cars. The most striking feature is that the two companies are advancing their technology by cooperating with other ministries, local governments and automakers rather than conducting research and development by themselves.
KT has joined forces to create the autonomous model complex in cooperation with Gyeonggi Province, the MOLIT, the Korea Land And Geospatial Informatix Corporation and BMW. Based on the 5G technology, the company will help autonomous vehicles to receive information about traffic situations and map in real time from other cars and the central control center.
LG U+ is focusing on the car interior system. In September, The company signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with SsangYong Motor and its larges shareholder, India's Tech Mahindra, to develop connected cars. A connected car refers to a car equipped with information and communications technology (ICT) which enables data transfer with other devices both inside as well as outside the vehicle and gives the driver remote access to the car. It is categorized as the smart car sector along with driverless vehicle. The three companies will jointly develop and release connected cars within three years.