Google is taking a big stride in Korea’s in-car infotainment market through partnerships with Hyundai Motor Group, the country’s top auto-making group, and Kakao, the leading mobile messaging app operator.
That marks a significant advance for the world’s largest digital data company which had difficulties in the local car navigation business due to a ban on its release of local map data outside Korea.
But Google recently agreed to put its Android Auto and Kakao Navigation in sync to reach Korean drivers, signaling a disruptive change in the car navigation market currently dominated by SK Telecom’s T-Map and in a wider in-car infotainment market.
According to an industry source on Tuesday, Google is planning to release a plan to launch Android Auto, an in-car infotainment service, in Korea. In-car infotainment refers to a mixture of information and entertainment intended to increase safety and convenience for the driver and passengers. It will play a key role as a platform to control in-vehicle information in the era of 5G-based self-driving. An industry source said "Google, Hyundai Motor Group and Kakao formed a strategic alliance to jump into the in-car infotainment market and several Hyundai and Kia brands will be equipped with Google Auto sequentially.”
Android Auto is developed based on Google Assistant to mirror features from an Android device to a car`s compatible in-dash information and entertainment head unit. It is already available in about 30 countries including the U.S., Europe and Japan.
In Korea, internet giant Naver launched its in-vehicle infotainment platform Away based on its artificial intelligence platform Clova last year.
SK Telecom is working on a new in-car infotainment service in partnership with Renault Samsung Motors.
By Lee Sun-hee and Minu Kim
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]