|Hyundai Motor Group Executive Vice Chairman Chung Eui-sun, right, shakes hands with CODE42.ai CEO Song Chang-hyun after their meeting at Hyundai Motor Studio Seoul in Nonhyeon-dong, Seoul, Wednesday. Courtesy of Hyundai Motor Group|
By Kwak Yeon-soo
Hyundai Motor will invest in tech startup CODE42.ai in its latest efforts to gain leadership in the smart mobility market, Korea's largest automaker said Monday. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The strategic partnership will see two companies collaborate on developing fleet and mobility systems, connected services, artificial intelligence (AI) and self-driving cars.
CODE42.ai was set up this year by Song Chang-hyun, a former chief technology officer of Naver, the nation's largest portal operator.
The firm has attracted much attention from car companies, and has quickly grown to become a key player in the smart mobility business.
With Song in the lead, CODE42.ai is comprised of a group of engineers with expertise in voice recognition, AI, mobility, self-driving vehicles, precision maps, robotics, computer vision and big data.
Hyundai's Executive Vice Chairman Chung Eui-seon showed excitement about the strategic partnership, saying it will likely reinforce the group to become a "game changer" in the global mobility market.
"CODE42.ai's insights on future mobility ecosystem and service platform can accelerate Hyundai's goal to transform into a smart mobility systems provider," Chung said in a statement.
"Through our strategic partnership, we will be working on various projects together."
CODE42.ai develops an urban mobility operating system (UMOS) that meets the needs for shopping, fast delivery and transportation.
UMOS integrates self-driving cars, drones and automated delivery robots to provide mobility services.
The partnership is the latest in Hyundai's series of aggressive investments in smart mobility services worldwide.
Last year, Hyundai acquired a stake worth $275 million in Grab, a ride-hailing and logistics service in Singapore, followed by an investment in Revv, a self-driving car-sharing company in India.
Earlier in March, the carmaker made a $300 million strategic investment in Ola, India's top ride-hailing platform, to develop fleet and mobility systems.
Along with Ola, Grab and Revv, the group has invested in last-mile logistics platform Mesh Korea, U.S. mobility service provider Migo, China's e-scooter maker Immotor and Australia's peer-to-peer car-sharing firm Car Next Door.
Hyundai Motor Group seeks to accelerate its transition from a car manufacturer into a smart mobility systems provider, strengthening partnerships to engage in all aspects across the entire mobility value chain ― including vehicle production, fleet operation and mobility services.