Israel’s leader drops by to test-drive a Hyundai

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Israel’s leader drops by to test-drive a Hyundai

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Hyundai Motor Group Executive Vice Chairman Euisun Chung, third from left, describes the group’s key auto technologies to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, far left, at the Hyundai Kia R&D Center in Namyang, Gyeonggi, on Monday. [HYUNDAI MOTOR GROUP]

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin visited Hyundai Motor Group’s research and development (R&D) hub in Namyang, Gyeonggi, Monday to test-drive a hydrogen-powered car and discuss future partnerships with the group’s executive vice chairman, Euisun Chung.

The visit came after the Israeli president met with President Moon Jae-in earlier in the morning.

“I have been looking forward to this visit. The future of automotive industry is in automation, safety and innovation,” Rivlin said.

At the Hyundai Kia R&D Center in Namyang, Rivlin test-drove a Nexo fuel-cell vehicle equipped with Level 4 self-driving capability. No human interaction is required for Level 4 vehicles under the standards set by the SAE International, formerly known as the Society of Automotive Engineers.

Rivlin experienced Hyundai’s real-time emotion adaptive driving technology, which enables the car to adjust the audio, temperature, fragrance and lighting inside the car by detecting drivers’ vital signs.

He also discussed partnership opportunities with Hyundai Motor Group’s heir-apparent Chung.

“I know that you have already developed partnerships with some Israeli start-ups […] and I hope that this is just the start. I look forward to expanding our cooperation,” Rivlin said.

Chung said the group is already planning to expand investments in Israeli start-ups in various fields.

Korea’s largest auto group has been making strategic investments in Israeli start-ups, including artificial intelligence (AI) start-up allegro.ai by setting up an innovation center dubbed Hyundai Cradle Tel Aviv last year.

Last month, the group decided to invest in Israeli start-up MDGo, which is focused on health analysis through AI.

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

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