S. Korea to develop precision map on highways this year for self-driving vehicles

20, Jun. 2019

SEOUL, AJU - As part of a national task to speed up the commercialization of 5G technologies, South Korea will develop a precision map on highways nationwide in the second half of the year. The map contains three-dimensional space information, which is essential for self-driving cars to locate themselves and recognize road and traffic regulations.

In a 5G committee co-chaired by Science and ICT Minister Yoo Young-min, policymakers, experts and business representatives agreed to push for a national task on developing the precision map.

Real-time wireless updates of navigation map information is crucial for autonomous driving. Self-driving cars can run safely and efficiently by combining sensor information built in an autonomous car and a precision map.

SK Telecom (SKT), a top mobile carrier in South Korea, has unveiled HD Map, a high-definition map solution that would help autonomous vehicles navigate safely. High-definition precision maps will become a vital part of an autonomous vehicle infrastructure.

Three-dimensional maps of roads and surroundings will be created with cars fitted with many sensors including cameras, radars and lidars which use lasers to detect obstacles in close range. SKT's solution is designed for vehicles capable of level 4 and level 5 automation, which require intervention by a driver just in case of an emergent situation.

SKT has tried hard to develop an autonomous vehicle solution. In early 2018, the company partnered with HERE, an Amsterdam-based mapping service provider, to develop 5G network-based mapping services for autonomous driving. It also joined the OneMap Alliance involving NavInfo of China, Pioneer of Japan and HERE to produce HD maps by 2020.

With the alliance's super precision maps, autonomous mobile operators will save time and money on building individual HD maps. The alliance will include a real-time update solution needed to upload the change of surroundings recognized by vehicles through 5G networks.