SK Telecom set up a 3D LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) system at a children protection zone in order to monitor surrounding cars and children. When a child suddenly jumped onto the road, the company’s LIDAR system accurately recognized the situation and sent warning messages to a central control center and surrounding cars. Its LIDAR system succeeded in accurately recognizing the situation of an accident, which is difficult to understand with just CCTVs due to surrounding objects, by utilizing 3D laser.
SK Telecom along with SOS Lab have successfully carried out a PoC (Proof of Concept) of “1,550nm single photon LIDAR system” for smart infrastructures by testing the system on a dangerous situation that is set up for the purpose of testing within a children protection zone.
LIDAR is a technology that shoots laser on a target and detects object, distance, and properties of the object and models them as 3D images. It is able to learn information about objects through machine learning and accurately recognize and distinguish types of objects.
SK Telecom and SOS Lab achieved a world-class LIDAR accuracy by being the first ones to apply laser with 1,550nm wavelength and single photon sensor technology. Compared to the commercialized 905nm laser, 1,550nm laser is able detect objects within a range up to 500 meters and is also safe for optic nerves. Single photon sensor has great sensitivity as it is able to detect weak light as well.
1,550nm single photon LIDAR system combines these innovative technologies and accurately identifies an object by screening 66,640 laser spots up to 120° horizontally and 20° vertically.

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<1,550nm single photon LIDAR system developed by SK Telecom and SOS Lab>

It is expected that this LIDAR system will be greatly effective in assisting autonomous vehicles to accurately understand surroundings and make appropriate driving commands. The system can also be applied to smart city services. Not only is it able to detect children in a school zone, it can also be used to look out for outside intrusion at coastlines, GOP railings, and airports and air force runaways where visibility is low.
SK Telecom plans to set up testbeds for the system at various ports and local governments. The system will be used to prevent accidents involving transportation of containers at ports that take place frequently. At local governments’ testbeds for autonomous driving, the system will be installed on streetlights to monitor intersections and driving conditions on the road.
SK Telecom predicted that it would become an example for win-win relationship between a major company and a startup.
The company has created innovative services by combining its 1,550nm laser technology and single photon sensor technology with SOS Lab’s LIDAR scanning technology. SOS Lab is company that participates in SK Telecom’s “True Innovation Mobility Accelerator” project and it will be able to make its technologies more perfect and receive support for finding potential markets.
SK Telecom and SOS Lab plan to commercialize their 1,550nm single photon LIDAR system in 2021.
Jo Ji-hyeok, who is the leader of SK Telecom’s SP LIDAR project, emphasized that the company’s advanced LIDAR technology will accelerate establishment of smart infrastructures and that it is the first step towards creating a safer society for the public.
Staff Reporter Son, Jihye |