SHI, SKT Trial Autonomous Ship Using 5G
South Korean shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) and compatriot telecommunications operator SK Telecom (SKT) have developed a 5G-based autonomous navigation platform that will allow ships to move to set destinations on their own.
The trial was conducted using a 3.3m craft developed by SHI and equipped with 5G-based LiDAR, cloud-based IoT platform and T Live Caster, SK Telecom’s real-time video monitoring solution at a shipyard covered by SKT’s 5G network.
The test operation took place in the sea near SHI’s Geoje Shipyard, which is covered by SK Telecom’s 5G network.
From the Remote Control Center in Daejeon, located 250 kilometers from the shipyard, the companies remotely set the ship’s destination and showed off the autonomous navigation system that enabled the test ship to safely sail to the destination by recognizing and avoiding maritime obstacles. They also verified the remote control ship operating capability, which enabled the test ship 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.
Meanwhile, SK Telecom and SHI have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to realize 5G-based Smart Yard in March 2019. 5G Smart Yard will provide a safer and more productive ship-building environment through real-time detection and control of all equipment/facilities within the shipyard.
“Today’s successful test marks a meaningful step towards commercialization of technologies for autonomous navigation of ships powered by 5G,” said Choi Il-gyu, Vice President and Head of B2B Business Office of SK Telecom. “SK Telecom will continue to drive innovations in the manufacturing sector with the world’s best 5G network and technologies.”
“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,” said Shim, Yong-Lae, Vice President of SHI Ship & Offshore Research Institute.