Industry’s First 5G-Based Autonomous, Remote Controlled Navigation Platform

SK Telecom and Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI), in a joint effort, have developed the industry’s first 5G-based autonomous and remote control navigation test platform and built a Remote Control Center in Daejeon, South Korea.

Marking an important step towards commercialization of 5G-based autonomous and remote control navigation technologies, the companies successfully completed the development of the 5G-based autonomous and remote control navigation test platform and verified the platform using a test ship. The 3.3-meter-long test ship, independently developed by SHI, has been applied with 5G-based LiDAR, cloud-based IoT platform and T-Live Caster, SK Telecom’s real-time video monitoring solution.

The test operation took place in the sea near SHI’s Geoje Shipyard, which is covered by SK Telecom’s 5G network. From the Remote Control Center in Daejeon located 250 kilometers from the shipyard, the companies remotely set the ship’s destination and showed off the autonomous navigation system that enabled the test ship to safely sail to the destination by recognizing and avoiding maritime obstacles. They also verified the remote control ship operating capability, which enabled the test ship to be remotely controlled and managed in real-time via 5G connectivity.

The 5G-based autonomous and remote control navigation test platform is expected to significantly improve the safety of ships especially when sailing in narrow water or near shore and enable real-time monitoring of ships based on massive data sent to the IoT platform. SK Telecom and SHI had also entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to realize 5G-based Smart Yard in March 2019. This Smart Yard is set to provide a safer and more productive ship-building environment through real-time detection and control of all equipment/facilities within the shipyard.

According to Choi Il-gyu, Vice President and Head of B2B Business Office of SK Telecom, the successful test marks a meaningful step towards commercialization of technologies for autonomous navigation of ships powered by 5G and the Korean telecom giant will continue to drive innovations in the manufacturing sector with the world’s best 5G network and technologies.