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Hyundai’s Innovative Approach for Innovative Developments

Accelerator program is looking for the expected—and the unexpected
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Which technologies are global OEMs interested in, technologies that may be developed by the types of companies that they aren’t (i.e., big, established, bureaucratic. . .)?

ZER01ne logo

(Images: HMG)

An answer can be found in the 2020 ZER01NE Accelerator program call for entries from startups (must be “incorporated, registered, and legal entity,” so people working out of their basements probably need not apply). The program is sponsored by the Hyundai Motor Group.

zero1 program

There are 10 project categories:

  1. Data
  2. UX
  3. HMI
  4. Mobility
  5. Charging
  6. Robotics
  7. Smart Factory
  8. Logistics
  9. Healthcare
  10. Materials

Of the 10, number 9 seems to be a bit of an outlier.

Yet it isn’t because the specific projects in that category are:

  • Biometric-based in-vehicle monitoring
  • Motion sickness prevention
  • Clear vision solution

In the case of the first, it is useful in automated vehicles to know whether the driver is in a condition to resume control of the vehicle should it be necessary.

As for the second, this is a subject that doesn’t get enough attention.

And the third is to enhance a driver’s capabilities, as providing some clarity of the road ahead in bad weather.

The Other Nine

But even the other nine categories have some projects that are not necessarily expected. For example, in UX there is:

  • In-vehicle vending machine service. The descriptor for that is: “In-vehicle retail service: Digital inventory management, digital order linking stores and distributors, digital pay and personalized product curation”

Evidently, if you are going to be a passenger in your vehicle, you’re going to have a little time on your hands to do some shopping.

In the Mobility category, the company is not only looking toward providing fleet service management and micro-electric delivery vehicles, but even smart helmets with built-in navigation and hazard alerts for e-scooter riders.

Although Hyundai owns a steel company, when it comes to the Materials category, the projects are of a different nature, entirely, and speaking of nature, one of the categories is “Eco-friendly material based interior,” which is seeking the development of materials for everything from the steering wheel to seats.

One of the Materials projects speaks to our time: Self-antibacterial material based material.

The ZER01ne program is open for submissions between now and December 27.

Those startups selected will receive funding as well as support from Hyundai development personnel.

Although the projects seem as though they are things that are likely to be seen in future Hyundais, strictly pragmatic, it is notable that ZER01ne is also looking for participation from scientists, artists and architects.

One look at the People page on the ZER01ne site shows that this isn’t the car industry as you might think of it.

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