Automobile companies are increasingly looking at new-age transportation to stay ahead of competition. Hyundai, which is seeing a slump in sales, has now increased its stakes in Singapore’s ride hailing company Grab with an investment of $250 million.
This is the second investment Hyundai is making in Grab after it invested $25 million to pick up a 0.45% stake in the cab hailing company.
According to a Reuters report, Hyundai, along with its affiliate Kia Motors will pilot electric vehicle (EV) projects in Southeast Asia next year, starting with Singapore. This is where grab comes into the picture. The company will lease 200 electric vehicles to Grab’s drivers. This project will then be expanded to Malaysia and Vietnam.
Grab, on its part, has so far raised $2.7 billion in funding and its investors includes major names such as Didi Chuxing and SoftBank. And bringing Hyundai on board will help Grab reduce operational costs for its drivers and also reduce ownership costs. Through its investment in Grab, it plans to collect data from the cars it leases out. The data would include things such as battery charging from the cars, which could help it develop vehicles that would be better suited for the Southeast Asian markets.
Reuters also reports that Hyundai aims to explore the possibility of building a factory from a long-term perspective.
Interestingly, Hyundai has also announced a strategic investment in Israel-based start-up allegro.ai that specialises in Deep Learning-based computer vision. This investment is part of Hyundai Center for Robotic-Augmented Design’s aim to bring deep learning technology to autonomous cars.
"Deep learning 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 and allegro.ai is clearly an innovation leader in that field," Ruby Chen, Head of Investment at Hyundai CRADLE Tel Aviv, said in a statement.
The start-up's platform simplifies the process of developing and managing deep learning-powered solutions such as autonomous vehicles, drones, security, and logistics among others.
"Our investment in allegro.ai is a further step in enhancing our presence in the Israeli market, a global leader of technological innovation in the fields of automation, AI and DL," he added.
The partnership is expected to speed up deployment of AI technology in the car-making major's many business areas.
"We are proud to partner with Hyundai and share Hyundai's belief that AI empowers the industry to provide greater road safety, autonomy, to better understand customers' needs and to help broaden their experiences," said Nir Bar-lev, CEO and Co-founder of allegro.ai.
Founded in 2016, allegro.ai offers the first end-to-end DL lifecycle management solution focused on DL as it applies to computer vision.
With IANS inputs