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Automobiles

Volvo unveils new XC60 with SKT in-vehicle infotainment

SKT aims to supply the integrated IVI to other automakers

By Sep 14, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

The Volvo new XC60's cockpit equipped with SK Telecom's in-vehicle infotainment (Courtesy of Volvo)
The Volvo new XC60's cockpit equipped with SK Telecom's in-vehicle infotainment (Courtesy of Volvo)

An artificial intelligence personal assistant sets up a destination for a GPS navigation. The AI assistant texts others the estimated arrival time based on real-time traffic information. The secretary turns on an air conditioner to adjust the temperature in the car, while selecting music for the weather. All of this process is done by voice without the driver taking his or her hand off the steering wheel on a Volvo’s car equipped with SK Telecom Co.’s (SKT) in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) system.

XC60 WITH SKT IVI

Volvo Car Group’s South Korean unit on Sept.14 unveiled the new midsized sport utility vehicle (SUV) XC60 in the country with SKT’s integrated IVI including a GPS navigation and a music streaming service.

This is the first case for a global automaker to install the integrated IVI of the South Korea’s top mobile carrier.

SKT and Volvo invested about 30 billion won ($25.6 million) over two years to develop the IVI exclusively for the Sweden-based automaker owned by China’s Geely Holding. The IVI adopted Android Automotive Operating System (AAOS) that allows drivers to install such an OS into vehicles, instead of mirroring smartphones to screens at cars. It is based on Tmap Auto, which partially changed the UX of SKT’s navigation app Tmap to fit the vehicle environment such as its dashboard and head-up display.

“AAOS enables users to add and expand other services more freely than other methods,” said Park Seo-ha, head of SKT’s Tmap Mobility Smart Vehicle business.

The IVI also uses data for South Korea. Volvo’s GPS navigation has been using a map database of HERE Technologies, a Netherlands-based mapping and location data provider. South Korean users complained about its poor accuracy in the country. The IVI provides database of Tmap Mobility, the nation’s leading navigation service, and real-time traffic information. All of the integrated IVI’s services are updated through the wireless network.

SKT considers providing real-time ultra-high definition media service in vehicle by applying the 5G communication technology to the integrated IVI in the future.

Volvo plans to expand the integrated IVI to all new models to be released in South Korea, while increasing in-vehicle payment services.
The XC60
The XC60


SOFTWARE DIFFERENTIATION IS KEY

SKT aims to supply other carmakers with the integrated IVI, which has functions to control parts of vehicles such as windows. The carrier is known to be in talks with some domestic and foreign automakers currently.

The information technology industry is rushing into the IVI-related markets as connected cars that link IT networks and vehicles are emerging as a promising business ahead of the era of autonomous vehicles.

“It is very important differentiate vehicles with software services such as connectivity and infotainment in the future car industry. So, more and more are expanding the IVI,” said a source at an automobile sector.

The global market related to connected cars are expected to reach $1.5 trillion by 2030, according to a global management consulting firm McKinsey.

Write to Jan-Gyeol Seon and Hyung-Kyu Kim at always@hankyung.com

Jongwoo Cheon edited this article.

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