SEOUL -- South Korea's Hyundai auto group expanded its partnership with SK Telecom to run a joint accelerator program aimed at incubating mobility and connected car startups that could activate a self-driving ecosystem. They will select 10 start-ups by June 7.
SK Telecom (SKT), a leading mobile carrier in South Korea, said it is in charge of planning and operating the joint program called "ZER01ne x True Innovation Accelerator" while the auto group will provide development assistance and push for joint projects. During a 16-week incubation period, selected startups will receive mentoring such as business strategies and investment credit planning as well as office space and test terminals.
SKT's SV innovation center head Ryu Woong-hwan said the joint program would help activate a mobility-related startup ecosystem in South Korea. "We will continue to expand our ecosystem in diverse areas with more innovative and creative startups."
To develop autonomous driving and other next-generation technologies, Hyundai has forged a series of strategic partnerships with foreign and domestic technology firms. A connected car is an autonomous driving vehicle capable of interacting with other devices connected to a web of networks. The car uses a mobile network to send and receive data from other connected devices.
In July last year, SKT used its NUGU AI voice assistant platform to launch a "home to car" service that would allow drivers to control their cars at their homes. The service would be applied to new cars produced by Hyundai Motor and its affiliate Kia Motors.
In November last year, Hyundai CRADLE, a corporate venturing and open innovation business, made a strategic investment in allegro.ai, a leading technology company specializing in a deep learning-based platform. In March this year, Hyundai agreed to combine its AI technology with NUGU to develop a service robot that would provide services such as greeting customers, vehicle description, music and weather information based on voice conversations with customers.
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