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China Unicom supports a smart Winter Olympics

By Ma Si Updated: 2021-10-27
A visitor buys products from a 5G-enabled unmanned retail minibus in Shougang Industrial Park in Beijing on Oct 21, 2021. [Photo provided to]

China Unicom, the official telecommunications service provider for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, is working overtime to build the event into a smart sports gathering enabled by cutting-edge communication technologies.

From self-driving cars and unmanned retailing to digital Renminbi, viewers who plan to visit Shougang Industrial Park in Beijing for Olympics events will be able to enjoy a smart trip, thanks to the technological support of China Unicom and its partners.

Simply by waving their hands, consumers will call a 5G-enabled unmanned retail minibus to their side. By clicking a virtual button on the vehicle's screen, consumers can buy what they want.

When the minibus is not around, consumers can also place an order on their smartphones, and the self-driving minibus will "find" them for delivery.

Behind the vehicle is China Unicom's 5G-enabled intelligent vehicle networking system, deployed in the Shougang Industrial Park in Beijing's Shijingshan district.

Liu Qi, a senior technical expert at China Unicom's smart city research institute, said the system covers 1 million square meters of Shougang Industrial Park.

Thanks to integration of 5G technologies and the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System, the unmanned vehicles can achieve continuous high-precision positioning within 10 centimeters.

Liu said the intelligent vehicle networking system can support four types of unmanned vehicles and enable the demonstration operation of 10 business scenarios such as unmanned ferry, unmanned retail and unmanned delivery.

It is expected to realize the first systematic application of L4-level intelligent vehicle networking business to the Olympic scenes, China Unicom said. Level 4 autonomy means the car can drive itself in most conditions without a human driver.