SK Telecom has demonstrated what is says is the world's first 5G-based connected car, named T5, using what it claims to be the world largest millimeter wave 5G trial network operating in the 28GHz band at BMW driving center on Yeongjong Island, Incheon.
SK Telecom said the 5G trial network - supplied by Ericsson - covers an area of 240,000 square meters and supports more than 20Gbps peak data rates with sub-millisecond latency. SK Telecom and Ericsson have jointly developed and deployed the 5G radio and core network infrastructure to cover the whole driving center.
For the demonstration, SK Telecom worked with BMW Group Korea to install 5G terminals within two BMW vehicles.
SK Telecom said the demonstration "Realized … the powerful combination of 5G and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technologies [with] T5 providing innovative features that dramatically improve road safety and driving experience by supporting ultra-low latency communication between vehicles or the vehicle and its environment."
T5 was able to observe road conditions enabled by state-of-the-art video recognition camera installed within the vehicle so as to provide notifications and assisted-driving to drivers, SK Telecom said.
Simultaneously T5 uplinked ultra-high-definition (UHD) video taken by 4K cameras and a 360-degree camera installed both inside and outside of the vehicle to the control center set up for the audience to watch the demonstration on large screen displays.
Alex Jinsung Choi, the CTO and Head of SK Telecom's Corporate R&D Center, said: "5G will offer much more than just faster data speeds. It will serve as a true enabler for a whole new variety of powerful services that deliver unprecedented value to customers. Today's demonstration of 5G-based connected car technologies marks the very first step towards achieving fully autonomous driving in the upcoming era of 5G."
Kim Hyo-joon, the CEO of BMW Group Korea, added: "At present, global automakers are expanding partnerships and collaborations to gain an edge in the area of future mobility realized through 5G. The cooperation between BMW and SK Telecom will lay the foundation for 5G-based connected car technologies, and inspire us to achieve more innovations."
More 5G trials on the way
Meanwhile, SK Telecom has also unveiled plans to deploy and operate 5G trial networks in Seoul and other select metropolitan area through cooperation with global telecommunications equipment manufacturers including Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung Electronics starting from early 2017.