Hyundai signs on with Israeli tech institute on self-driving, AI

By Cho Chung-un
  • Published : Sept 6, 2017 - 15:37
  • Updated : Sept 6, 2017 - 15:37
Hyundai Motor has signed a memorandum of understanding with Technion, an Israeli institute of technology, to jointly develop artificial intelligence and technologies for autonomous driving, the company said Thursday.

The joint project also includes a plan to support budding enterprises in Israel and use their ideas to devise new market platform aimed at realizing innovative mobility.

South Korea’s Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology also joins the project, the company said.
Officials from Hyundai Motor, Technion and KAIST pose for photo after signing a memorandum of understanding for joint project on self-driving and AI at a ceremony held at Technion, Haifa, Israel. (Hyundai Motor)

Hyundai Motor‘s cooperation with the Israeli technology institute comes from the carmaker’s recognition of the Middle East nation’s strength in nurturing innovative startups.

Mobileye, which develops vision-based driver assistance systems and supplies the systems to most carmakers around the world, is also an Israeli tech company. The company was acquired by US chipmaker Intel for $15.3 billion in March.

Hyundai Motor heir Vice Chairman Chung Eui-sun has paid a keen interest in Israeli startups, according to the carmaker. He visited Mobileye in May to seek business opportunities with the firm, according to Hyundai. The partnership with Technion is also part of Chung’s idea to seek technological development through startups there.

Established by a group of scientists that included Albert Einstein in 1912, Technion has taken a leading role in Israel’s drive to nurturing creative ideas and supporting budding entrepreneurship. More than 60 percent of Technion graduates work for startup companies and more than 50 percent of CEOs in Israeli companies are alumni of the college, the company said in a statement.

“Israel is not a country that makes cars, but has been gaining interest for the country’s startups that supply core parts and solution for self-driving cars and connected car (services),” an official said. “Through the tripartite consortium, we expect to secure not only future technologies to lead the ‘fourth industrial innovation,’ but also new engines for the company’s growth.”

By Cho Chung-un (