Navya and two Korean partners to develop automated driving via 5G networks


French developer of autonomous vehicles and smart, shared mobility solutions, Navya, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with two Korean companies, ESMO Corporation and SK Telecom, to jointly develop automated driving technologies via the country’s 5G cellular network.

Navya, ESMO and SK Telecom will co-develop autonomous driving features and systems using the 5G cellular technologies that have already been deployed in South Korea. Three senior officers, Park Jin-Hyo, the executive vice-president of SK Telecom, Jeong-Hun Kim, CEO of ESMO Corporation, and Navya’s CEO, Étienne Hermite, met in Seoul to formalize the signing of the new partnership.

Navya develops, manufactures and commercializes autonomous, driverless, and electric vehicles that combine robotic, digital and driving technologies at the highest level. The company has a range of two autonomous vehicles: the AUTONOM SHUTTLE, launched in 2015, with more than 115 sold and deployed in the USA, France, Germany, Switzerland, Japan and Australia; and the AUTONOM CAB, unveiled in November 2017, with the first road tests due to start shortly. SK Telecom has led the advancement of mobile technologies ranging from 2G to 4G, and is currently setting important milestones in its journey to 5G. ESMO specializes and produces wiring harnesses for internal combustion engine, and has recently diversified into wiring systems for Electric Vehicles and lithium battery technology.

In the context of the new partnership:

  • Navya will provide its autonomous driving technology and R&D expertise to incorporate features associated with 5G networks, supervision and cloud computing;
  • ESMO will be in charge of marketing products and services, notably Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Government (B2G), and setting up a vehicle assembly line in the longer term. ESMO will also be responsible for designing and localizing the components, as well as implementing a supervision platform;
  • SK Telecom will be responsible for providing technological solutions accompanying the marketing of the products, notably B2B and B2G, and providing a 5G autonomous driving infrastructure.

The three companies will also collaborate on the development of an autonomous vehicle platform dedicated to entertainment and infotainment.

“This technological and commercial partnership will be a source of substantial synergies that will enable our technology to be further developed,” commented Navya’s Hermite. “I also firmly believe that our three groups’ expertise will be a benefit to the widespread roll-out of autonomous vehicles in North-East Asia”.

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Adam joined the company in 1994, and has been News Editor of TTT since 2009. In his other role as Circulation Manager, he helped create the original Traffic Technology International distribution list 23 years ago, and has been working on it ever since. Outside of work, he is a keen fisherman, runs a drumming band, and plays an ancient version of cricket.