Hyundai wants to be a pioneer in new technologies in cars, according to the company’s vice chairman.
Chung Eui-sun, 47, is the grandson of Chung Ju-yung, the man who founded Hyundai as a construction company in 1947. Since that time, Hyundai has undergone quite the metamorphosis into a world-spanning automotive giant. Now, the younger Chung says that the time has come for Hyundai to change yet again from car manufacturer to a mobility technology company.
To do that, Chung imported the best minds from European carmakers like Bentley, BMW, and Audi. He’s also following in the footsteps of Daimler and Toyota, two carmakers that spent billions in technology startups and information technology.
In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Chung revealed that he plans to turn automotive parts affiliate Hyundai Mobis Co. into a technology-centered company.
And they’re studying bugs to do it.
“There are limitless features to learn from insects,” says Chung. Skin, flight muscles, the joints from antennae—all of which can find application in a modern automobile. Chung makes specific mention of a spider’s eyes and draws parallels between the eight eyes of an arachnid and the many cameras and sensors that are found on any modern car.
Chung also wants Hyundai to become “far ahead” of the competition when it comes to hologram technology. “We are working on holograms that can be displayed inside the car on dashboards and even in the passenger seats,” says Chung, adding that the holograms will be voice activated.
The Hyundai heir also believes that the world automotive market will shrink in the future, but that software and artificial intelligence will have increasingly important roles in the industry. Tech companies like Google or Uber may even become large enough to gobble up a car company or two, he says.
“Achieving high-level technology is a key for having negotiating power. It is our goal to stand at the front line amid the industry’s changes. We have many hurdles to overcome."