South Korea Built World’s First Self-Driving Car Test Bed Running On 5G Network

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The world’s first self-driving vehicle test city equipped with 5G network has been completed in Korea.

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport held a ceremony to mark the completion of “K-City” at the Korea Automobile Testing and Research Institute (KATRI) in Hwaseong City, Gyeonggi Province.

It has been one year and four months since the construction began in August last year. KATRI is affiliated with the Korea Transportation Safety Authority.

K-City is a virtual city that is designed to test self-driving cars. It is the world’s first test site for self-driving cars based on 5G network. It features reproductions of five actual environments, including a highway, urban center, and parking lot.

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.]

The government invested 12.5 billion won (US$11.07 million) to build the virtual city on a site of 320,000 square meters inside the KATRI driving test site. This is one eighth of the size of Yeouido Island, which is 2.9 square kilometers.

As the virtual city is based on 5G network, it is also possible to develop technologies for cooperative driving and infotainment that utilize ultra-fast and large-capacity telecommunication infrastructure.

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport is planning to open K-City so that it can be used by anyone in the private sector, universities, and related startups, thus contributing to the development of self-driving technology.

Meanwhile, according to the U.S. technology research firm Navigant Research, the global market for self-driving cars will reach 210 trillion won in 2020 and 1,300 trillion won in 2035.

SK Telecom and the Korea Transportation Safety Authority have built 5G infrastructure in the main experimental zone of “K-City,” an autonomous driving test city.

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