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Hyundai Motor to work with carpool start-up

Dec 06,2017
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Hyundai Motor joined forces with Korean car pool start-up Luxi to work together on a range of future mobility solutions. [HYUNDAI MOTOR]
Hyundai Motor has forged another partnership in its continued attempt to gain the upper hand in the fast-emerging future mobility industry.

The nation’s No. 1 carmaker announced Tuesday that it has joined forces with domestic carpool service start-up Luxi. The two companies will work together to co-develop future mobility solutions and algorithms, including a carpool service.

Luxi is a carpool start-up founded in Korea in 2016 that has matched 4 million rides so far for its 780,000 members.

The partnership started its first pilot project on Tuesday. Selected participants who bought an Ioniq Hybrid on lease will be registered as drivers on Luxi and given some financial benefits. The 100 selected drivers will be able to pay back the monthly lease with profits taken from working as a driver on Luxi. The start-up also said it will give a 20 percent bonus as an incentive to the drivers on this program for the next year.

Hyundai Motor said it will utilize Blue Link, its own connected car service installed on the Ioniq Hybrid, to analyze commuting patterns to better match drivers with nearby customers.

Due to regulations in Korea, this program will only operate during commuting houses - from 5 a.m. to 11 a.m. and from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. on weekdays.

“Through the program, Hyundai Motor plans to secure business development capacity for future mobility that includes utilizing data, running supply-and-demand matching algorithms and operating a shared-economy platform,” Hyundai Motor said in a statement.

Together with Luxi, Hyundai Motor also said it will develop what’s called RobotCap, where autonomous vehicles carry passengers independently, without their driver being present, based on a car-sharing platform and artificial intelligence.

“Through the pilot program, Luxi wants to offer a new concept in car ownership and sharing,” said Choi Ba-da, CEO of Luxi.

Carmakers jumping into the car-sharing industry is not a new concept. In fact, it is increasingly becoming an inevitable choice for traditional automakers hoping to survive in an era of rapidly changing ideas on car ownership and driverless cars.

Last month, Volvo Cars signed an agreement with Uber to provide its cars to co-develop fully autonomous on-demand vehicles. Last year, General Motors announced a partnership with Lyft by investing $500 million to create their own version of an on-demand autonomous vehicles service.


BY JIN EUN-SOO [jin.eunsoo@joongang.co.kr]