SEOUL, Jul. 3 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korean telecommunications giant SK Telecom is considering the idea of launching an artificial intelligence-based taxi-hailing app, which the company sees as a chance to take advantage of its big data database.
Though off to a late start, the IT company seems confident its service will prove popular, as its big data analytic system on floating population can suggest locations with high demand to taxi drivers using scientific data, unlike KakaoTaxi, which connects drivers and customers solely on a match-based system.
With the way SK’s AI-based taxi-hailing service is operated, the number of empty vehicles on the road is expected to drop, while more customers waiting in a busy area will find a vehicle, maximizing overall business productivity.
“We are currently conducting research to develop an AI-based taxi-hailing service that could predict areas that will be busy for taxi drivers,” Heo Il-gyu, the director of data business at SK Telecom said on Sunday.
When SK successfully develops its own AI-based taxi recommendation system, it’s more than likely that the South Korean wireless provider will follow in the footsteps of Japanese telecom company NTT DOCOMO and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology by launching its own taxi-hailing app.
“We are in the early stages of business as of yet. When the app launches, we believe taxi drivers will be able to earn more with less effort while customers will spend less time waiting for a vehicle,” an SK Telecom official said.
Another idea based on the company’s big data and AI technology is a navigation app for those in wheelchairs. Initially developed by a student at Sookmyung Women’s University, the concept arose out of concerns for wheelchair users in South Korea, who use the road more often than the sidewalk despite risks of accidents because of obstacles in their path.
With its big data on floating population, SK Telecom was able to develop an app that provides better routes with information on the whereabouts of nearby wheelchair-friendly facilities and electric wheelchair charging stations.
SK Telecom says it plans to increasingly open its big data systems to the public so its valuable information can be used in both the public and private sectors.
According to the telecom company, the majority of the information made public this far has been used by privately-owned businesses, most of which were delivery service providers and movie theaters.
Hyunsu Yim (email@example.com)