Hyundai-Kia And Microsoft to Enhance in-Car Infotainment

Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group and the Redmond-based software giant Microsoft today announced a partnership with Korea's Institute for IT advancement for the development of new in-car systems such as auto telecommunication, navigation or telematics. Hyundai says that an Automotive IT Innovation Center will be opened in Uiwang, south of Seoul and will design a wide range on in-car systems addressed to the majority of markets.

The first services will be launched into North America in 2010, with Asia and Europe scheduled for the last months of the same year.

“Microsoft and Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group share a similar vision for the role that information technology will play in connecting people to information, communications, and entertainment while they are in their cars,” Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer said about the partnership with Hyundai-Kia.

Basically, such an agreement would allow clients to listen to music in various digital formats, Hyundai said in a press statement, integrating multiple connectivity options, such as iPod ports and Bluetooth functions.

“We're excited by the opportunities this new Automotive IT Innovation Centre will create for Microsoft, Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group, and Institute for Information Technology to continue to work together to develop new innovations that will make the time that people spend in their cars more productive and enjoyable than ever before,” Ballmer added.

This is not the first time when Microsoft partners with automakers to create new infotainment technologies. The best example is given by Blue&Me, a system designed in partnership with Fiat Group, which offers Bluetooth and USB connectivity to cellphones and Bluetooth-able mobile phones plus hands-free support and voice commands. Similar features will probably arrive on Hyundai and Kia models too, but no other details are available for the time being.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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