Hyundai Motor, Microsoft Join to Develop New In-Vehicle Entertainment System

Will create an auto IT innovation center

Hyundai Motor and Microsoft have forged a deal jointly to develop a new in-vehicle music and entertainment system, officials said May 6. Hyundai officials said Microsoft head Bill Gates would attend a ceremony later in the day at which the deal would be signed. Gates is in Seoul to attend the annual Seoul Digital Forum.

Microsoft and Hyundai will jointly establish an auto IT innovation center, the Korean company said. Over the next five years, Hyundai will invest a total of $166 million to bring IT technology advancements into the car and to develop new in-car services, it said. Microsoft will invest $113 million.

Hyundai said the system would be controlled by the driver's voice and linked with other handheld digital devices such as mobile phones and MP3 music players.

The Hyundai group which includes affiliate Kia Motors controls 70% of the country's auto market and accounts for 5.4% of gross domestic product. It aims to become the world's number five carmaker, from number six currently.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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