Chi Young-cho, Hyundai Motor executive vice president
South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Group announced on Thursday that it will set up a research and development center in Israel to develop future car technology and discover startups armed with promising mobility and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies.
The company aims to open the center, dubbed Open Innovation Center, in Israel early next year and recruit local talents. The center will mainly play a role in building a network with local businesses and academia, analyzing the latest trend in auto technology, and unearthing local startups focusing on the development of future car technology.
Through the center, the Korean auto conglomerate will seek both direct and indirect investments in Israeli startups to develop cutting-edge mobility technologies of the future. Hyundai Motor Group aims to nurture the Open Innovation Center as its research and development headquarters for studying future mobility and AI technologies in the long term, the Korean auto giant said.
Hyundai Motor Group seeking to lead autonomous and connected car technology has chosen Israel, which is known as the high-tech, start-up powerhouse of the world, as its main future car technology R&D hub in hopes of developing future car technology with help from many local startups that focus on developing AI, sensor fusion, and cyber security.
This is not the first time for the Korean auto group to tap into Israeli talents in the future car technology sector. Hyundai Motor Co. Vice Chairman Chung Euisun, son of Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Mong-koo, early this year visited Israel to discuss driverless car technology with officials at Mobileye NV, global No.1 producer of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) sensors under U.S. chipmaker Intel Corp.
The company in September also said it joined hands with Technion Israel Institute of Technology and Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) to carry out joint research on future mobility technologies.
A few days later in the same month, the company that shows an avid interest in future mobility technology also opened its first global big data center in China.
Chi Young-cho, Hyundai Motor executive vice president who is in charge of strategic technologies, unveiled the company’s strategic partnership plan with Israeli startups at the ‘Fuel Choice and Smart Mobility Summit 2017, an Israeli government-hosted annual event held in the Middle Eastern country between Oct 31 and Nov 1. Hyundai Motor aims to shape the future mobility market with Israeli startups, said Chi.
Shares of Hyundai Motor closed Thursday at 160,000 won($143.58), down 500 won or 0.31 percent from the previous session.
By Lee Seung-hoon and Cho Jeehyun
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