SKT SHI 5G Autonomomous Navigation

South Korean shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) and compatriot telecommunications operator SK Telecom (SKT) have developed and verified a 5G-based autonomous and remote control navigation test platform using a test ship.

The 3.3-meter-long test ship, developed by SHI, successfully sailed in the sea near SHI’s Geoje shipyard using 5G-based LiDAR, a cloud-based IoT platform and T Live Caster, SK Telecom’s real-time video monitoring solution.

From the remote control center in Daejeon, located 250 kilometers from the shipyard, the companies remotely set the ship’s destination and verified the autonomous navigation system that enabled the test ship to safely reach the destination by recognizing and avoiding maritime obstacles.

“Today’s successful test marks a meaningful step towards commercialization of technologies for autonomous navigation of ships powered by 5G,” Choi Il-gyu, Vice President and Head of B2B Business Office of SK Telecom, said.

The duo also verified the remote control ship operating capability, which enabled the test unit 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,” SHI and SK Telecom said in a statement.

The two parties have also entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to develop a 5G-based smart yard in March 2019. The smart yard is aimed at providing a safer operation of vessels and a more productive shipbuilding environment through real-time detection and control.

“We have now secured an optimal research environment to make a leap in the area of autonomous navigation ship technologies by combining Samsung Heavy Industries’ autonomous and remote navigation system and SK Telecom’s 5G communication technologies,”  Shim, Yong-Lae, Vice President of SHI Ship & Offshore Research Institute, commented.