S. Korea opens world’s first 5G-based autonomous vehicle testing center

2018.12.11 09:36:21 | 2018.12.11 09:36:46

South Korea’s KT Corp. runs a test drive of its self-driving vehicle at K-City, world’s first 5G network-based testing site for autonomous vehicles that opened in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province, on Monday. [Provided by KT Corp.]이미지 확대

South Korea’s KT Corp. runs a test drive of its self-driving vehicle at K-City, world’s first 5G network-based testing site for autonomous vehicles that opened in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province, on Monday. [Provided by KT Corp.]

South Korea on Monday opened K-City, the world’s first fifth-generation (5G) network-based mobility technology testing site in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province, a move that is expected to enhance the country’s research and development capacity in connected and autonomous driving technologies.

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport on Monday held a ceremony at Korea Automobile Testing & Research Institute in Hwaseong to celebrate the completion of K-City, a testing site for self-driving cars providing real road environment. The site – a testbed integrating various cutting-edge technologies for autonomous vehicles in real road conditions – is similar to United States’ Mcity and Japan’s Jtown.

The transport ministry invested 12.5 billion won ($11.09 million) to build the 320,000 square meter K-City inside a proving ground managed by Korea Automobile Testing & Research Institute under Korea Transportation Safety Authority. The mock town is a testing space for autonomous driving technology equipped with highways, downtown area, city outskirts, and parking space. The site also has toll gates, city intersections, children protection zones, tunnels, and street trees so that self-driving vehicles can be tested in real road conditions.

K-City, in particular, is the world’s first autonomous vehicle testing site connected by 5G network. Advanced technologies for autonomous vehicles such as infotainment features can be tested at the site.

The transport ministry plans to invest an additional 31 billion won by 2021 to create testing environment for autonomous vehicles in severe weather conditions.

By Choi Hee-seok and Lee Eun-joo

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