Microsoft Corp and Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group (HKAG) recently entered into a long-term agreement to co-develop the next generation of in-car infotainment systems, the companies report.
Together, Microsoft and HKAG will deliver new solutions based on the Microsoft Auto software platform, bringing the future of in-car technology to Hyundai-Kia drivers worldwide.
The first product, a system that provides voice-controlled connectivity between mobile devices, will be introduced in the North American market in 2010. It will further apply to Asian and European markets, and expand into multimedia and navigation devices.
The next-generation infotainment systems are comparable to mini-PCs. Even after product launch, new functions can be added or upgraded in the form of software program updates.
The Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group's adoption of the Microsoft Auto software platform increases Microsoft's presence in the Asian car market and enhances the global automotive business. The engineering and marketing teams of Microsoft's Automotive Business Unit in Redmond, Washington, will be working directly with counterparts at HKAG in Seoul to support this goal. Microsoft Auto-powered systems are currently available in Fiat Auto Group vehicles in Europe and South America and Ford Motor Co vehicles in North America.
In a related announcement, Microsoft and Hyundai-Kia, along with the Institute for Information Technology Advancement (IITA), signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to co-establish an automotive IT innovation center with the goal of promoting innovation and opportunities for Korean software and device vendors in the global market.