Sony Corporation and NTT Docomo has announced that they will join hands to test Sony driverless vehicle, the New Concept Cart SC-1, with 5G mobile technologies for various remotely controlled functions. The test will be carried using the trial network in Docomo 5G Open Lab GUAM – NTT Docomo’s oversea 5G testing and verification facility in Guam.
The trial is slated to commence sometime in Summer.
“The test will verify data transmission and operational performance required to remotely control the cart from a long distance via the extra-high speed, large capacity, low latency and massive-device connectivity. This will be the firms’ second joint trial of 5G technologies, following a trial conducted in Japan in 2017 to test the real-time transmission of high-definition video via a 5G system to a 4K digital-signage system fitted to the outside of the cart.”
For the uninitiated, New Concept Cart SC-1 is a conceptual electric vehicle that uses artificial intelligence and robotics technologies developed by Sony. Sony’s driverless bus though look similar to many such driverless minibus, it is actually very tiny, capable of accommodating just three passengers. It is designed to be controlled from a remote location. So, it is not quite self-driving per se. It is just a remotely manned electric vehicle.
The bus has a top speed of just 19 km/h (12 mph) and it is outfitted with image sensors with better-than-human-vision all around to allow the remote driver a clear picture of the surrounding area. These cameras will also use to present “entertaining augmented reality (AR) scenes of the surround rear to the passengers.
On the exterior, 4K digital signs can be used for advertisements and other content to passersby and other road users. It is SC-1 is expected to be remotely driven at commercial facilities, including airports. Though it is not clear how many will be deployed for this trial.
Images courtesy of Sony Corporation.