Fri, Oct 04, 2019 - Page 12 News List

Telecom holds 5G field trial for driverless cars

GROWING 5G:Chunghwa Telecom chairman Hsieh Chi-mau said the firm aims to improve the 5G value chain, from chips and cell stations to applications

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

President Tsai Ing-wen, sitting, tries out 5G-enabled technology at a news conference in New Taipei City yesterday.

Photo: Lai Hsiao-tung, Taipei Times

Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) yesterday conducted a 5G spectrum-based field trial for autonomous vehicles at a lab in New Taipei City’s Banciao District (板橋) to demonstrate vehicle-to-infrastructure technology developed by a subsidiary.

The telecom expects to provide more autonomous vehicle tests and trials using 5G networks at its lab in the future.

“Our aim is to help grow this 5G value chain ranging from chips and small cell stations to all kinds of applications,” Chunghwa Telecom chairman Hsieh Chi-mau (謝繼茂) told reporters on the sidelines of the field trial.

The company focuses on the delivery of real-time information, such as traffic data to vehicles using high-speed and low-latency 5G technology, while Kingwaytek Technology Co (勤崴), a 26 percent held subsidiary, is helping to develop autonomous driving systems, particularly for shuttle buses, Hsieh said.

Kingwaytek is a supplier of high-definition (HD) electronic maps and vehicle navigation systems.

“We are developing a decisionmaking system for self-driving vehicles and a traffic prediction system, which will be combined with our HD electronic maps to complete our self-driving solution,” Kingwaytek chairman Alfred Ko (柯應鴻) said.

Kingwaytek plans to conduct a series of self-driving field trials next year in collaboration with Automotive Research and Testing Center (車輛研究測試中心) via a sandbox program in Changhua County, Ko said.

The trial, if successful, would pave the way for the company to sell its self-driving solutions overseas in the next two to three years, injecting new revenue growth momentum into the business, he said.

Southeast Asian nations would be ideal markets, as Chunghwa Telecom’s strength in the region could provide leverage, he said.

Kingwaytek operates one autonomous vehicle trial field in Changhua County and another in Taoyuan’s Hutoushan (虎頭山).

Yesterday, Chungwha Telecom and Taiwan Mobile Co (台灣大哥大) both said separately that they have submitted their applications to bid for 5G bandwidth and are prepared to substantially invest in 5G network deployment.

Asked if Taiwan Mobile still aims to secure 100 megahertz of bandwidth at the auction, Taiwan Mobile president Jamie Lin (林之晨) said: “Only for a reasonable price.”

“Taiwan Mobile will make 5G [services] available in the second half of next year,” Lin said.

The telecom is in talks with multiple agencies about launching 5G trial fields, he said, adding that the company has one trial field in the baseball stadium in New Taipei City’s Sinjhuang District (新莊).

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