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Consortium on autonomous driving to be launched soon

More than 12 South Korean businesses across industries will gather to launch a consortium on autonomous driving later this month in order to expand collaboration for the fledgling industry.

According to Hong Yun-seog, head of the Autonomous Vehicle Center under the Korea Transportation Safety Authority on Friday, 12 or so local companies have agreed to join the consortium that will offer each participant opportunities to exchange information on autonomous driving and cooperate on actual projects to develop related technologies. 
A Hyundai Motor vehicle test-runs autonomous driving in Las Vegas in January. (Yonhap)
A Hyundai Motor vehicle test-runs autonomous driving in Las Vegas in January. (Yonhap)

So far, Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors, Hyundai Mobis, SK Telecom, LG Electronics and Naver have decided to be members of the consortium. 

Samsung Electronics is also considering joining the group, according to Hong. Automobile parts maker Mando and more universities are possible members of the consortium.

“Since it is going to be the first consortium of private businesses that are interested in autonomous driving in the country, its launch will be significant,” Hong said. “Collaboration across various industries is essential to this new field.”

After the new group is launched, the heads of research and development centers of each member company will hold a meeting every two months to discuss technological developments and collaborative projects.

Companies around the world are seeking cooperation with firms, as autonomous driving is rising as a new lucrative industry that requires a combination of cutting-edge IT, telecommunication networks, automobile manufacturing and artificial intelligence technologies.

While SK Telecom has been working together with Germany’s BMW to implement faster data transmission in a connected car, LG Electronics has been in confidential talks with Volkswagen after signing a memorandum of understanding on the development of a connected car last year.

“Some meaningful cooperation is expected to be made among purely Korean businesses,” Hong said.

Meanwhile, Korea’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport is currently building K-City, the country’s first autonomous driving testbed, with the goal of opening it in October.

By Song Su-hyun (song@heraldcorp.com)
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