By Business Korea
SK Telecom will unveil its autonomous vehicle control platform as early as the second half of this year. With sequential technology upgrades, the company plans to grade up with market leaders such as Google, Tesla and Intel by 2020.
According to industry sources on March 29, the Network Research Institute of SK Telecom is currently developing autonomous car control platform “T Remote Eye,” which means an eye that can look through even remote areas. The new platform is expected to be a core of self-driving car services.
T Remote Eye will be able to manage and analyze data, manage devices, assist drivers and protect security and authentication systems. SK Telecom is planning to make use of the new platform in car sharing services and car insurance sectors. The company signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Socar, the largest car sharing service in South Korea, and Meritz Fire & Marine Insurance last year as part of the strategy. Moreover, it will disclose its application programming interface (API) to encourage more developers to participate in and improve convenience by installing various apps.
SK Telecom will also upgrade T Map, South Korea’s most commonly used mobile mapping service, with the launch of T Remote Eye in order to help drivers to communicate with other neighboring cars without installing a separate Internet of Things (IoT) chip in the car. To this end, the company is now advancing T Map to 10 times higher definition mapping solution.
In the medium and long term, SK Telecom plans to create one ecosystem that encompasses drivers’ daily life by installing its own artificial intelligence (AI) platform “Nugu” in the autonomous car. The company will connect online shopping mall 11st and Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) service B tv so drivers can make a purchase and enjoy entertainment contents in the car.
If all goes according to plan, SK Telecom’s driverless car service will be run with four wheels – the IoT ThingPlug platform, T Map, Nugu and T Remote Eye. SK C&C will be in charge of the cloud service which stores data related to self-driving cars. All affiliates of SK Group will make a new leap through autonomous cars once again. An official from SK Telecom said, “For autonomous vehicles, it is important to share information between cars. So, we are releasing the T Map-based control service first in the second half of this year.”
However, it will take at least three years to use the self-driving car service on the road because the 5G network, which allows users to download 2.5GB of a movie in one second, will be commercialized in 2020. The slow reaction speeds of autonomous cars can directly lead to an accident, so the fast reaction speeds provided by the 5G network is one of crucial factors. In fact, Intel predicts that a driverless car will create 4TB of data a day in 2020. Under the current 4G network, there are obviously limits to autonomous vehicles.
When T Remote Eye is launched, SK Telecom will quickly make the next move. SK Telecom president Park Jung-ho had meetings with Samsung Electronics, NVIDIA and Intel at the CES 2017 held in Las Vegas in January to discuss ways to cooperate in the ecosystem related to autonomous cars. In November last year, SK Telecom and BMW successfully tested the world’s first connected car running on the 5G network at the BMW Driving Center in Yeongjong Island, Incheon.
Considering the fact that SK Telecom plans to make an 11 trillion won (US$9.88 billion) investment in new industries like self-driving cars alone in the next three years, the company is expected to rapidly narrow its technical gap with market leaders.
Article by Business Korea