Hyundai Group’s Innovation Conclave offers glimpse into promising future tech from start-ups

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 23 Nov 2021


Hyundai Motor Group yesterday held the '2021 Open Innovation Lounge for demonstration demonstrations of new technologies with promising domestic and foreign start-ups at the Hyundai Motor/Kia headquarters.

The Open Innovation Lounge is Hyundai Motor Group's open innovation product development platform, launched in 2019 to foster a culture of creative and agile product and new technology development and to quickly apply customer-desired technology experiences to vehicles through technological cooperation with external start-ups.

In addition to representatives from Hyundai CRADLE Silicon Valley and Berlin, about 20 representatives and officials from global start-ups from Korea, the Netherlands, Germany, Finland, China, and Israel participated in this year's event.

At this year's event, under the theme of 'Paint the Innovation and Beyond', the results of collaboration in technology development with a total of 12 start-ups, including 120 scenarios for future technology experiences imagined by the Hyundai Motor Group, were exhibited.

Hyundai evaluated Product Customer Satisfaction, Technology Feasibility and Technology Innovativeness targeting about 300 global start-ups. A total of 12 teams were selected, including five local teams, three from Europe, one Chinese and two Israeli teams. The Korean auto major provided all production costs and vehicles so that the selected start-ups could implement the technology in the real world.

The technologies implemented by participating start-ups were exhibited under three main themes:
- Expansion of Sensation,
- In-Cabin Wellness, and
- Charging Solution

In the 'Expansion of the Senses' theme zone, the key innovations exhibited included an eco-friendly vegetable leather that can be recycled; flat-core speaker that can be used as a sound system for outdoor activities such as camping by applying to the tailgate; conductivity that realises a wider and more colourful light pattern compared to the existing ambient light; luminescent paint, one-way emitting surface light source that can be used as lighting when applied to glass such as sunroof; conductive heating paint that transfers heat to various surfaces even with a small amount of current, and a smart diffuser that provides a suitable fragrance through odour analysis.

In the 'Well-being Vehicle Space' theme zone, there was an air cleaning solution that can remove carbon dioxide and humidity in the vehicle; human-centered lighting that provides relaxation and concentration effects according to the individual's biological cycle; solar film that can be applied to the exterior of the vehicle in various areas, and an automatic charging robot.

Hyundai Motor Group shared the results of prior development of 'Smart Glass' that can control transparency by bonding a colour-changing variable film between vehicle glass and 'Seat Built-in Sound System' that provides physical vibration and augmented sound for each seat. After receiving positive evaluations from employees through the Open Innovation Lounge last year, the technology is being developed through internal TFT.

Likewise, among the technologies exhibited this year, Hyundai says it will speedily examine the open innovation process for technologies that have been highly evaluated in customer preference and need, and then review whether they will be applied to actual vehicles.

At the Open Innovation Lounge, held since 2019 essentially for the purpose of enhancing product competitiveness of Hyundai Motor and Kia, Hyundai CRADLE (North America, Europe, China, Israel, Singapore) and Zero One (ZER01NE, domestic) has till now reviewed the technology scenarios of about 800 innovative global start-ups, and has been expanding technological collaboration by applying some of them to actual vehicles.

“In order to respond to the rapidly changing mobility ecosystem, it is essential to experiment with new approaches and actively collaborate with diverse and creative innovators,” said Kim Heung-soo, head of Hyundai Motor/Kia’s product division. We will actively cooperate with global start-ups through the Open Innovation Lounge operated in a quick-win, fast-fail mode, and will play a leading role at a major inflection point in mobility.”