KT Commercializes 5G Self-Driving Freight Carts

5G autonomous carts transport smartphones and other devices to designated locations, as requested by the control center and the person in charge, at KT’s Seobu Distribution Center.

KT’s Connected Car Platform ‘5G Mobility Makers’ Provides Control 

KT Corp. (KRX: 030200; NYSE: KT), South Korea’s largest telecommunications company, announced today that it is using 5G self-driving carts at its logistics center, enabling a nearly 50 percent reduction in employees’ travel range for loading and transporting inventory.

5G autonomous carts transport smartphones and other devices to designated locations, as requested by the control center and the person in charge, at KT’s Seobu Distribution Center.

The new system of the leading Korean telecom provider is the first use of next-generation smart logistics vehicles in the Korean communications industry. Two types of 5G self-driving carts, “NarGo” and “TarGo,” are being employed in collaboration with Twinny, a company specializing in indoor autonomous robots and online platforms.

KT incorporated its autonomous intelligent vehicle (AIV) service to NarGo and Targo. AIV service is an integrated control system that processes instructions and assesses operating conditions by using pre-installed maps and real-time information on automated carts. It also facilitates latency-free collection and analysis of operational data as well as statistics compilation.

“In preparation for the post-COVID era, technologies to minimize person-to-person contact are increasingly demanded throughout industries,” said Choi Kangrim, Head of KT’s Connected Car Biz Center. “By applying AIV service based on our advanced communication networks and platforms in a wider scope of industries and leading relevant technological advancement, we at KT will do our utmost to help our customers enjoy the benefits in their everyday lives.”

The AIV usage follows meticulous experiments in minimizing person-to-person contact between employees while improving their productivity at work. As a result, KT explained, loading cellphones and other items for transport requires 47 percent less travel range by employees at KT’s Seobu Distribution Center.

The self-driving logistics vehicles and AIV service are based on KT’s integrated mobility platform, dubbed “5G Mobility Makers.” The platform is at the core of KT’s connected car services, which feature automated driving control by collecting and analyzing data produced by different vehicles. Utilizing this capability can lead to real-time remote control of AIV cloud control centers developed by partner companies and various business sites. This will help minimize movement of and personal contact between employees and boost their throughput at large-scale distribution centers as well as small-scale warehouses.

Beyond the application of its autonomous driving technology at the Seobu Distribution Center, KT will continue its research and development efforts to lead the technological advances required to reduce person-to-person contact throughout the logistics industry in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In response to the pandemic, KT will start providing 5G autonomous carts and control systems for small-scale logistics operations at hospitals, libraries and various other industrial sites.

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