5G Autonomous Navigation Platform Tested

Credit: SK Telecom

Published Dec 10, 2019 7:15 PM by The Maritime Executive

South Korea's SK Telecom and Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) have developed the industry’s first 5G-based autonomous and remote control navigation test platform and now conducted a vessel test.

The 3.3-meter (11-foot) test ship, independently developed by SHI, used 5G-based LiDAR with a cloud-based IoT platform and T Live Caster, SK Telecom’s real-time video monitoring solution.   

The test took place SHI’s Geoje Shipyard, which is covered by SK Telecom’s 5G network. From a Remote Control Center in Daejeon, located 155 miles (250 kilometers) from the shipyard, the companies remotely sailed the ship, recognizing and avoiding maritime obstacles.

The 5G-based platform is expected to significantly improve the safety of ships, especially when sailing in narrow water or near shore, and to enable real-time monitoring of ships based on high volumes of data sent to the IoT platform.

“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.

The two companies entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to realize a 5G-based Smart Yard in March 2019. The 5G Smart Yard is expected to provide a safer and more productive ship-building environment through real-time detection and control of all equipment/facilities within the shipyard. They are also developing an augmented reality platform that will be used to check the goods in containers. 

With its low latency, large bandwidth and high reliability, 5G is anticipated to provide a new-generation communication solution. 5G is generally seen as the fifth generation cellular network technology that provides broadband access. Its purpose is not solely about making bandwidths larger or speeds faster, 5G will play a role in emerging IoT applications and can be used for many diverse applications with different speed, response time, security and capacity requirements because it can support up to a million devices per square kilometer, while 4G supports only up to 100,000 devices per square kilometer.