SKT to take 5G, HD maps to IFEZ

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SKT to take 5G, HD maps to IFEZ

SK Telecom signed a memorandum of understanding with the Incheon Free Economic Zone (IFEZ) authority on Monday to build 5G-based self-driving infrastructure and nurture tech start-ups in the area.

IFEZ, designated as a free economic zone in 2003 to boost foreign investment, consists of Songdo, Yeongjong and Cheongna International Cities.

The mobile carrier will start by establishing a high-definition (HD) map covering the entire IFEZ area of about 132.9 square kilometers (51 square miles). An HD map differs from the current standard-definition maps in that it offers more precise lane information and geographic features accurate to the centimeter level.

“It is regarded as a key element for achieving Level 4 autonomy for autonomous vehicles as defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers,” SK Telecom said in a statement. Level 4 self-driving cars can drive alone with almost no human interference.

The HD map will use a so-called dynamic data platform developed by the country’s largest mobile carrier. It enables the map to be updated in real-time using the 5G network so that a self-driving car can recognize sudden changes in traffic conditions.

SK Telecom is planning on building the 5G infrastructure by October this year.

The carrier and the IFEZ authority also agreed to establish a start-up incubating space, dubbed Venturepolis, in Songdo. According to SK Telecom, it will allow start-ups to work with companies or universities in their research.

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