|An electromagnetic darkroom at Hyundai Mobis Mabuk Technical Center in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province / Courtesy of Hyundai Mobis|
By Park Jae-hyuk
Hyundai Mobis has established research centers around the globe and invested in innovative startups to take the lead in the global competition for new technologies for futuristic cars, the company said Monday.
According to the auto part manufacturing unit of Hyundai Motor Group, its first open innovation center named "M.Cube" recently opened in Silicon Valley to discover and invest in startups with strong growth potential in technologies for self-driving and connectivity.
The company also plans to convert its research branch in Shenzhen, China, into M.Cube by assigning a role of investment to the center.
The Shenzhen M.Cube will specialize in artificial intelligence and big data, according to Hyundai Mobis.
The Seoul-based firm said it will expand its investment in startups by collaborating with Hyundai CRADLE in Israel and Europe, areas that don't have M.Cube yet. CRADLE, standing for "the center for robotic-augmented design in living experiences," is the name of another Hyundai Motor Group open innovation center.
Over the past few years, Hyundai Mobis has stressed open innovation in order to cope with changes in technologies and improve its R&D capability.
In particular, it has cooperated with two German radar sensor makers to develop its own radar sensor. In August, the company also invested in a Korean startup named StradVision which has world-class image recognition technology based on deep learning technology.
The company has carried out an M.Start contest as well, to discover and foster startups with growth potential.
Currently, Hyundai Mobis runs a technology research institute in Korea and four overseas institutes in the United States, China, Germany and India.
It expects notable synergy effects between M.Cube and the five research centers.
It also aims to integrate R&D capabilities gained from these research centers and core technologies acquired through investment in startups.