Kia Motors Wednesday formed a strategic partnership with Samsung Electronics, SK Telecom and UDtech to use m2m, information and communication technology for its vehicles and offer a so-called “smart car” services.
“We expect the partnership will create a great synergy as industry leaders have joined hands for technological convergence,” said Kim Chang-sik, executive vice president at Kia Motors. “The four firms will continuously expand cooperation in marketing and develop new services for customers.”
The automaker has been aggressively seeking ways for the integration of information technology features in its cars. It has developed and featured voice-operated UVO multimedia and infotainment systems in its latest models such as the Sorento SUV and K9 luxury sedan.
Along with Kim from Kia, Lee Myung-keun, executive vice president from SK Telecom, Lee Jong-jin, senior vice president from Samsung Electronics and Lee Woo-yeol, CEO of UDtech were in attendance to sign the memorandum of understanding (MOU) for cooperation at the automaker’s office in Apgujeong-dong, southern Seoul.
Under the agreement, the four firms will expand the cooperation in the development of new technology and solutions for smart cars and establish a joint organization to create a new culture for smart cars.
By signing the MOU, the automaker has launched a mobile application named Q Friends, which is designed to provide key information of users’ vehicle such as fuel efficiency, traveling distance and speed and other traveling log necessary for vehicle maintenance.
To fully use the application, drivers are required to install the communication device developed by UD Tech on their vehicle and connect it with the application through Bluetooth.
SK Telecom will provide the device to its subscribers for free of charge if they purchase Samsung’s smartphones such as the Galaxy S4 and S4 LTE-A and Galaxy Note 2 at the automaker’s affiliated repair shops under the brand “Auto Q.”