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KT investing in autonomous cars supported by 5G

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New facility will use 5G to further test autonomous car use case

Korean telecommunications operator KT has secured a license to build what it claims to be the world’s first autonomous car cluster in Pangyo, in Gyeonggi Province. KT’s plans to deploy a core telecommunications infrastructure including a 5G wireless network and big data platforms. The telco said that the autonomous vehicle cluster will have a total cost of over $26 million and will be fully completed by the end of 2019.

KT won the contract from the state-run “Pangyo Zero City” project based on experience in not just the connectivity piece, but experience in managing big data and internet of things (IoT) technology.

KT also confirmed it expects to conduct a pilot 5G network service this year before establishing the driverless vehicle center by 2019.

The telco will provide an hybrid vehicle-to-everything (V2X) network which includes security-enhanced long-term-evolution (LTE) network and wireless access for vehicle environments (WAVE).

The hybrid network will allow KT to analyze and manage the huge amount of big data coming from autonomous cars. The data will then be used to help cars monitor road conditions, among other features, according to the company.

“We are teaming up with our big data software development subsidiary, KT NexR, to lead the upcoming hyper-connected 5G era,” a company official said. “When the project ends, this will help take 5G-related technologies and components to the next level.”

NVIDIA unveils computer chips for Level 5 driverless cars

In related news, U.S. chipmaker NVIDIA has unveiled computer chips for developing fully autonomous vehicles. The new system, named Pegasus, extends the NVIDIA Drive PX AI computing platform to handle Level 5 driverless vehicles, which can operate without drivers.

The company said it is currently working with more than 25 customers to build a new class of driverless cars, robotaxis and long-haul trucks.

“Creating a fully self-driving car is one of society’s most important endeavors — and one of the most challenging to deliver,” said Jensen Huang, NVIDIA founder and CEO. “The breakthrough AI computing performance and efficiency of Pegasus is crucial for the industry to realize this vision.

“Driverless cars will enable new ride- and car-sharing services. New types of cars will be invented, resembling offices, living rooms or hotel rooms on wheels. Travelers will simply order up the type of vehicle they want based on their destination and activities planned along the way. The future of society will be reshaped,” he said.

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