[Graphics by Song Ji-yoon and Lee Eun-joo]

[Graphics by Song Ji-yoon and Lee Eun-joo]

South Korea's three major telecommunications companies are jumping on the bandwagon of fifth-generation (5G) mobile technology, which is gaining attention with the impending arrival of self-driving cars.

Information technology (IT) sources on Sunday said the trio? SK Telecom Co., Ltd., KT Co., Ltd., and LG U+ Co., Ltd. are focusing on the self-driving market as a new subscription-based business model that utilizes 5G. The government aims to put Level 4 self-driving cars into practical use by 2025, and companies are focusing on demonstration projects.

Through these demonstrations, telecommunications companies are working in earnest to build business models for commercialization. LG U+ announced on Sunday that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with autonomous driving startup RideFlux to develop unmanned autonomous driving technology.

RideFlux develops essential software that is the brain of autonomous driving. In 2021, the company launched Korea's first autonomous route service covering the distance between Jeju Airport and Jeju Jungmun Tourist Complex.

LG Uplus plans to use 5G communication technology throughout the driving process in the future Level 4 autonomous driving market, allowing unmanned vehicles to reach their destination and park autonomously.

LG Uplus is developing an AI self-driving urban environment management service specializing in unmanned self-driving based on RideFlux's rich self-driving data and V2X (vehicle-to-everything) technology.

The company will also apply unmanned autonomous driving technology to special vehicles in areas such as road cleaning, fine dust control, and disinfection, as well as actively utilize artificial intelligence (AI) technology in driving solutions. The plan includes providing services to remotely control emergency situations and prevent accidents, as well as adjust cleaning intensity based on real-time road conditions.

Telecommunications companies are particularly interested in C-ITS rather than traditional information transport systems (ITS) because C-ITS is bidirectional. While ITS collects vehicle operation information and provides it to users, next-generation intelligent transportation systems utilize AI and IoT (Internet of Things) to collect information and expand business options.

SK Telecom also began collaboration with truck autonomous driving startup Mars Auto in October 2023 to enhance AI-based autonomous driving of heavy trucks. Mars Auto develops AI-based self-driving software for cargo transport trucks and successfully conducted South Korea's first self-driving truck test in 2019, with the aim of starting commercial cargo transportation using self-driving trucks in 2023. .

SK Telecom opened a self-driving car demonstration site in the Sangam-dong area in northwestern Seoul to gain experience in the self-driving business.

Meanwhile, KT leveraged its rich experience in demonstration projects and began developing new technologies such as AI, big data, cloud, and digital twins for commercialization. The company has developed a cloud-based transportation platform for self-driving vehicles, secured real-time high-precision mapping technology necessary for self-driving vehicles, and last week launched a self-driving bus service in Anyang City in parallel with a trial operation for citizens. led to the start.

The carrier's focus on autonomous driving is also a long-term plan to get ahead of its future urban air mobility (UAM) business. The two businesses share a lot of context, as autonomous driving and UAM both require 5G as well as 6G communication technology, and huge amounts of data need to be exchanged without delay during operation.

According to Global Market Insights, the ITS market is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 8.8% from $43.7 billion in 2022 to $109.5 billion in 2032.

Written by Lee Dong-in and Lee Eun-joo

[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]

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