Volkswagen and LG have announced a “memorandum of understanding” to develop the next generation of connected cars.
What these companies have called a memorandum can better be described as is a research collaboration. Volkswagen and LG have agreed to work together to produce connected automotive technology that capitalizes on LG’s smart home expertise to bring connected cars to people in functional, practical ways.
“Volkswagen is pressing on with the digitalisation of its brands. Our focus in doing so is always on our customers. For them, comfort, safety and energy efficiency play a central role. LG is a strong, reliable partner in the implementation of new features and one of the drivers of innovation in the networked household. ,” said Thomas Form, head of electronics and vehicle research of Volkswagen’s Group Research Division in a statement.
However, capitalizing on differing skill sets isn’t the only driving force behind this agreement. LG has had its hands in the automotive industry for quite some time and has been manufacturing audio visual products for LG since 2007, making it one of the first tech companies to commit to automotive.
However, this is far from the only tech-auto partnership the world has seen in the last few months. Specifically for the purpose of producing advanced automotive technology, Google has partnered with Fiat Chrysler, Lyft has partnered with GM and Uber has partnered with Toyota.
While many originally thought the race to autonomy would be defined by competition between the tech space and the automotive industry, it’s becoming clear that rather than jockeying for position, the world’s leading auto and tech companies are pairing off.
It’s important to note that this announcement focused specifically on connected cars and did not mention driverless cars. Also included in the announcement were several goals for this collaboration.
The first of these is the intention to bring together the best of the connected car and the smart home, thereby providing drivers with the tools to monitor their smart devices from out on the road.
Also included was the development of a notification centre that can deliver messages to the driver in realtime. Lastly, the announcement outlined the intention to develop infotainment technology for connected cars.
According to Richard Choi, LG and Volkswagen want to create an interactive experience for drivers that will expand the smart home features drivers can control from their cars.
“LG Electronics and Volkswagen are teaming up to develop the next generation of connected car platform that allows wide integration with smart home services and adoption of open IoT connectivity technologies. We think LG’s expertise in smart technology together with Volkswagen’s leadership in the automotive sector will revolutionise the way drivers interact with their vehicles,” said Choi in a statement.
As every tech company finds its perfect match, it’s yet to be seen which team will come out on top.