Hyundai, Google explore potential collaboration

The Korean automaker is reportedly becoming more open to unique partnerships.

Hyundai is reportedly engaged in talks with Google, exploring potential subjects for deeper collaboration.

The companies have already identified several promising areas of mutual interest, Hyundai Motor president Jeong Jin Haeng said in an interview with Bloomberg.

The executive did not identify specific details, but the comments are viewed as evidence that Hyundai does not want to be left out as some of its rivals aggressively pursue pilot programs and research initiatives with Silicon Valley tech companies.

Google has invested significant resources in developing autonomous driving technology, aiming to eventually launch an autonomous taxi fleet that could present a driverless rival to Uber. The search giant views partnerships as the best way to achieve such goals.

The Hyundai-Kia duo is already developing self-driving cars, working toward advanced semi-autonomous features by 2020 and complete autonomy by 2030.

Notably, Google's planned foray into the mobility sector is said to be led by former Hyundai Motor America chief executive John Krafcik. The auto industry veteran recently took a more prominent role after the project lost its technical chief and lead roboticist, Chris Urmson. The departure has been blamed on strategic disagreements as Google ponders how to transition from experiments to products and services.

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