Telecommunications company KT Corp. tested its first fully autonomous bus at South Korea's largest international airport last week, according to the Friday press release. The Incheon International Airport (IIA) hosted a demonstration on November 11, showcasing how autonomous vehicle technology is becoming less of an idea and more of a reality for business and other travelers.
The self-driving bus drove 2.2 kilometers at 30 kilometers per hour near IIA's Terminal 1, said the release. As airport employees and officials from South Korea's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport viewed the demonstration from afar, the vehicle independently slowed at traffic signals and changed lanes, the release added.
SEE: Autonomous transportation research: Predicting impact on industries, companies, and personal lives (Tech Pro Research)
KT Corp. signed an agreement with the airport last month to create an intelligent airport system using information and communications technology, said the release. The partners plan to work with 5G mobile networks, artificial intelligence (AI), big data, and Internet of Things (IoT) in the future.
In order to be at the forefront of autonomous vehicle initiatives, KT is creating 5G as a Vehicle Platform (5GaVP), a commercial self-driving system that runs on 5G technology, said the release. The company has already produced GiGA Drive IVI, a voice-recognizing platform for connected cars that can communicate directions and driving conditions.
KT and IIA aren't alone in the movement towards airport autonomous vehicles. SoftBank Group and All Nippon Airways began testing its self-driving buses around Tokyo's Haneda Airport in February. And Gatwick Airport is conducting a six-month trial for its driverless cars to transport airport employees around the facility.
For the airports themselves, these self-driving buses could revolutionize daily operations, increasing efficiency and improving customer experience. The progress of autonomous vehicles in airports is also great for business professionals who travel often, as the vehicles provide a more convenient and efficient way to navigate large airports.
Check out this TechRepublic article to learn about how more US cities are preparing to implement autonomous vehicles.
The big takeaways for tech leaders:
- KT Corp. is using 5G technology to bring autonomous buses to South Korea's Incheon International Airport.
- During the test, the self-driving vehicle was able to slow down at traffic lights and change lanes on its own.
- Special report: Tech and the future of transportation (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
- Autonomous vehicles: Expect up to 50 driverless buses on Oslo streets by 2021 (ZDNet)
- Tesla's Autopilot: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)
- Toyota and SoftBank team up for on-demand vehicles and autonomous driving (ZDNet)
- 5G will enable autonomous vehicles to become four-wheeled clouds (TechRepublic)
Macy Bayern has nothing to disclose. She does not hold investments in the technology companies she covers.
Macy Bayern is an Associate Staff Writer for TechRepublic. A recent graduate from the University of Texas at Austin's Liberal Arts Honors Program, Macy covers tech news and trends.