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Hyundai opens center for innovation in Israel

Nov 07,2018
Hyundai Motor opened an innovation center in Tel Aviv and invested in an Israeli artificial intelligence start-up through the center, the automaker said Tuesday.

Hyundai Cradle Tel Aviv is the third such initiative established by the Korean carmaker’s investment arm, the others in Korea and Silicon Valley. The Israel-based center, which officially started operations at the end of last month, is dedicated to finding start-ups with expertise in artificial intelligence and computer vision.

The Tel Aviv center said Tuesday it invested in allegro.ai, a start-up specializing in deep learning-based computer vision. The automaker said the partnership will improve the quality of Hyundai’s products and speed up its deployment of AI technology.

“Deep learning-based computer vision is one of the core technologies that can be applied to autonomous driving, to navigate roads and make quick decisions in real time,” said Ruby Chen, head of investment at Hyundai Cradle Tel Aviv. “allegro.ai is clearly an innovation leader in that field.”

The technologies produced by the Israeli start-up make it easy for companies developing autonomous vehicles and drones to manage and control their data sets safely, said Nir Bar-lev CEO and co-founder of allegro.ai in a statement Tuesday.

Korea’s largest automaker is planning to establish two more centers, in Berlin and Beijing.

Selecting China as one of its global bases is a strategic move, as the automaker is seeking ways to expand in the world’s most populous consumer market. Hyundai is considering launching its N brand cars in China.

On Tuesday, Thomas Schemera, head of the product planning and strategy division at Hyundai Motor, said the company is mulling which of its high-performance branded cars to introduce to the Chinese market during the first China International Import Expo, being held at the National Convention and Exhibition Center in Shanghai.

Hyundai introduced its fuel-cell vehicle NEXO at the expo with an aim to bolster its presence in the growing eco-friendly car market in China.

The expo is being held for the first time by the Chinese government to help foreign companies introduce their products and find opportunities for business cooperation.


BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]


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