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Electric vehicles

IONIQ 7 to beome home on wheels with LG appliances

It is speculated that LG will supply automotive electronics to Apple Car as Apple accelerates push to launch self-driving cars

By Nov 29, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

Hyundai's SEVEN, its large SUV IONIQ7 concept
Hyundai's SEVEN, its large SUV IONIQ7 concept

Hyundai Motor Co.’s IONIQ 7, its new all-electric sport utility vehicle to be launched in 2024, will be equipped with the home appliances of LG Electronics Inc., a cooperation that will expand the two companies' presence in the global electric vehicle and self-driving car markets.

Global home appliances giant LG will supply products such as the Styler steam closet and refrigerator to the IONIQ 7, its first large SUV to be launched under its standalone EV sub-brand, according to industry sources. The EV has enough space for these appliances as it uses an electric motor instead of an engine.

The IONIQ 7 is the first mass-produced model jointly developed by Hyundai, South Korea’s top automaker, and LG.

The two companies are expected to strengthen their cooperation further to target the EV and autonomous car markets that are expected to dominate the future global automobile industry. An EV equipped with customized appliances will appeal to customers looking for space to work and rest with various add-on functions.

LG’s affiliates are speculated to supply display panels for the IONIQ 7, according to the sources. The latest EV needs high-performance display panels since it is a connected car capable of communication with other vehicles and transportation infrastructure in real-time.

HOUSE ON WHEELS

Hyundai showcased SEVEN, an SUV concept that will be the IONIQ 7, at the AutoMobility trade show in Los Angeles on Nov. 17.

SEVEN offers greater freedom for customers than ever before, according to Hyundai. The streamlined roofline, long wheelbase, and a flat floor that extends to the third row open new opportunities to furnish the interior like a premium lounge, Hyundai said.

Last year, Hyundai and LG unveiled a jointly developed car interior concept model that industry watchers expected would be used for the IONIQ 7.

The concept model was equipped with an organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display, which enables passengers to watch movies, and other appliances such as a steam closet for clothes. 

LG has various technologies such as one that allows passengers to continue watching videos in-car that they were watching at home. The electronics maker has also developed an automatic payment system for drinks when they are taken out of the in-car refrigerator. Further, it is known to have technologies to install not only home appliances but also office equipment in cars.

APPLE CAR SUPPLIER?

LG’s developments have been drawing strong attention from global automakers. Recently, it was in the spotlight on speculation that it would become a supplier to the Apple Car.

Apple Inc. is pushing to launch its electric car as early as 2025 and refocusing the project around full self-driving capabilities, Bloomberg News reported earlier this month.

The report lifted LG’s share prices. Apple needs to team up with automotive electronics makers to meet the target. LG’s affiliates, Apple’s existing key suppliers, are already producing automotive electronics.

LG’s vehicle component solutions (VS) unit, LG Innotek and LG Energy Solution Ltd. manufacture camera modules, powertrains and batteries for autonomous vehicles.
LG Electronics ADAS camera
LG Electronics ADAS camera

“Apple is accelerating its move to launch self-driving cars. It is likely to utilize the iPhone parts suppliers proven in the market to release the product in a limited time,” said an industry source.

FROM HOME APPLIANCES TO AUTOMOTIVE ELECTRONICS

LG is expanding its automotive electronics business into the software with a strategy to target the connected car market linked to the information and communications technology (ICT) as more automakers are predicted to outsource software.

The company is nurturing the business of augmented reality (AR) software for vehicles. An AR software solution provides three-dimensional (3D) visual information that helps drivers discern relative distances to pedestrians and other cars, as well as routes to destinations. The solution collects information around the vehicle and relays this to the driver, using various sensors including advanced driving assistance system (ADAS) cameras.

Earlier this year, LG inked a deal to take over Cybellum, a vehicle cybersecurity risk assessment solution provider based in Israel, to enhance the security of automotive electronics.

“LG is a department store-style automotive electronics maker, providing all product line-ups including parts, appliances and software,” said an industry source. “Interest in LG is expected to grow among global automakers.”

Write to Sin-Young Park at nyusos@hankyung.com

Jongwoo Cheon edited this article.
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