KT tests autonomous transport at Seoul’s international airport

Self-driving bus tested at Seoul’s Incheon International Airport

Part of KT’s 5G as a Vehicle Platform (5GaVP) project

Vehicle covered 2.2km at a speed of 30km/h

No sign of when we’ll see these vehicles deployed

News arrives of yet another autonomous vehicle test, this time in South Korea. It’s not a particular ground-breaking test: a driverless bus covers 2.2km at a speed of 30km/h outside the airport’s Terminal 1, slowing down at traffic signals and changing lanes to avoid obstacles. Waymo and all its peers have clocked up far, far more miles and tested in much more challenging environments. However, it does illustrate the platform model that a few CSPs are investigating for future 5G-related verticals.

South Korea’s KT is developing its 5GaVP (5G as a Vehicle Platform) concept, which it describes as a commercial self-driving platform using its 5G technology. KT’s 5G technology, as it seeks to become a global leader in autonomous vehicle technology. That’s a big ask. In the meantime, it has also developed its GiGA Drive IVI (in-vehicle infotainment), a smart, voice-recognition platform for connected cars that combines information and entertainment for drivers and passengers. It includes an Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS), which alerts the driver to potential dangers.

As for when we’ll start to see autonomous vehicles in actual commercial use, that’s still highly subjective. But whilst there is still a massive amount of R&D and testing still required, the automotive industry is heading for huge disruption, whether the “human drivers first” movements like it or not. And politicians and regulators are preparing for it now.

Case in point, the UK has opened a consultation on the legal framework for automated vehicles and their use as part of public transport networks and on-demand passenger services. The Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) has asked the Law Commission to undertake a review, and the preliminary consultation closes on 8 February 2019. At which time, they will then consult on the regulation of automated vehicles in public transport and mobility as a service, delivering final recommendations by March 2021.

They are looking to cover three key themes: how safety can be assured before automated vehicles are placed on the market; criminal and civil liability; and the need to adapt road rules for artificial intelligence. There’s a?summary available here?that is well worth a read, and don’t worry, there’s not a single mention of 5G…

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