SK joins global group developing smart cars

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SK joins global group developing smart cars

SK Telecom, the nation’s leading mobile carrier, said Sunday it became the first Korean company to join a global association that works on future car technology.

The association, called 5G Automotive Association (5GAA), is a cross-industry organization that consists of major global telecom and automobile companies that jointly work on “connected cars” and autonomous driving technology utilizing the fifth-generation network that has yet to be commercialized.

It was founded in September by eight auto and telecom companies - BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Ericsson, Huawei, Qualcomm, Nokia and Intel - acknowledging an increasing importance and necessity of collaborations between the auto and IT industries.

Now, 5GAA has 12 members with Vodafone, Deutsche Telecom, Valeo and SK Telecom recently joining.

“5G is expected to provide diverse innovative values to the auto industry in the future such as for autonomous driving, safe and convenient management of the vehicle and infotainment,” said Choi Jin-sung, head of the company’s R&D center. “In that regard, 5GAA is going to play a vital role in providing diverse opportunities for both telecom and auto industries through newly created businesses.”

The association plans to create task forces to develop the technology and move toward commercialization. One group is developing 5G-based car solutions and another is innovating and designing a new car infrastructure. Evaluating new solutions and testing its compatibility are also assigned to one of the task forces organized by the association.

If the fifth-generation of mobile communication becomes commercialized, customers can send and receive data at the speed of 20Gbps, which is at least 20 times faster than the currently available 4G LTE network.

The fast-networking system will critically enhance connected-car solutions such as V2X (vehicle-to-everything), which enables cars to communicate with not only nearby cars but also pedestrians and infrastructure.

“We expect that joining the 5GAA will bring about synergy effect across the industry and help us build a leading model in standardizing connected car and autonomous driving technology in the era of 5G,” the company said in a statement.

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