SKT to build 5G-powered traffic system in Seoul

SK Telecom (SKT) will build a next-generation traffic system powered by its super-fast fifth-generation (5G) networks in Seoul in a bid to offer safer roads, the mobile carrier said Thursday.

The firm said it and the Seoul Metropolitan Government will begin to verify a project dubbed Cooperative-Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS), aimed at constructing advanced transportation infrastructure combined with cutting-edge communications technologies by the end of 2020.

In the 25.4 billion won ($23 million) project, SKT will install 5G sensors at major roads in Seoul and offer 5G telecommunications terminal equipment to buses and taxis. The firm will also build a control center tasked with collecting data and delivering information related to safety.

Buses and taxis equipped with 5G devices will communicate with stations and traffic lights frequently to collect data. SKT and the Seoul Metropolitan Government will analyze the data and deliver warnings to buses and tax-is if any dangerous factors are detected. The information is also delivered to general cars through SKT’s T Map navigation app to reduce the possibility of accidents
The firm said the whole process takes less than 0.01 seconds under the 5G environment, and will help drivers respond more promptly to any dangerous situation.Once the C-ITS is constructed, about 30 new services will be available to raise safety. For example, the system sends a warning to drivers about pedestrians who jaywalk even in bad weather conditions or at night.

The system also delivers information of accidents and warns other cars of steep curves to prevent accidents involving a pile-up. Other functions include the detection of road potholes caused by heavy rain.

SKT and the Seoul Metropolitan Government also agreed to create a test bed to verify autonomous driving technology within the first half of the year at the Sangam Digital Media Center (DMC) area in western Seoul. Using that test bed, self-driving cars and general cars will drive together.

SKT’s self-driving cars will be available for the public to ride around DMC station as early as June.
SKT said it was able to obtain the order for the project as its vehicle communication and self-driving technolo-gies, accumulated for years, received higher points compared to competitors.

The firm has collected a vast amount of data through its T Map navigation app, used by 18 million.

“The C-ITS is a future project combined with core technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, such as 5G, autonomous driving, artificial intelligence and cloud,” said James Ryu, corporate center leader at SK Tele-com. “SKT will mobilize the international-level technologies it possesses.”

By Jun Ji-Hye (jjh@ktimes.com) @ Korea Times