Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group, Microsoft Corp., and Korea’s Institute for Information Technology Advancement have opened an information technology center for joint development of new IT products and services for automotive applications.
The Automotive IT Innovation Center (AIIC) will be located within HKAG’s new research facilities in Uiwang City, south of Seoul. Last May Microsoft and HKAG entered into a long-term agreement to co-develop infotainment systems based on the Microsoft Auto software platform.
The firms’ first product, planned for introduction in North America in 2010, will be a system that provides voice-controlled connectivity between mobile devices, allowing consumers to enjoy music in various digital formats. The product will launch later in Asian and European markets, and expand into multimedia and navigation devices.
Hyundai-Kia plans invest $166 million over the next five years to bring IT technology advancements into the car and to develop new in-car services.
The AIIC will focus on uncovering new IT technologies for automobiles by supporting research and development activities of small and medium IT companies based in Korea. HKAG will provide the facilities and cars for technical testing and vehicle application, while Microsoft will assume responsibility for software development and launch into the global market. IITA will extend financial support to eligible small and medium IT enterprises. The Center will support about 20 companies a year for three years, helping the most promising candidates develop into global players in the automotive IT sector.
The IT center will focus on developing technologies such as auto telecommunication, telematics, navigation systems and Location Based Service (LBS), and improving the Human Machine Interface (HMI).
The IITA will provide as much as ₩200 million per project in funding for outstanding small- and medium-sized companies, as well as working with the Ministry of Knowledge Economy to provide more policy support.