Kia establishes joint venture to accelerate EV mobility services

20, Jul. 2020

Kia CEO Song Ho-sung (left) shakes hands with CODE42.ai CEO Song Chang-hyun (Photo courtesy of Kia Motors) 
Kia CEO Song Ho-sung (left) shakes hands with CODE42.ai CEO Song Chang-hyun (Photo courtesy of Kia Motors) 

SEOUL, AJU - Kia Motors, a subsidiary of South Korea's Hyundai auto group, partnered with a domestic technology firm to establish a new mobility service start-up named "Purple M," which is designed to offer customized electric vehicle mobility services.

Purple M will be set up between Kia and CODE42.ai to establish a comprehensive and flexible e-mobility service platform and lead the development of a sustainable EV ecosystem. CODE42.ai pioneers the transition to autonomous Transportation-as-a-Service (TaaS), which refers to the buying of miles, trips, or experiences and none of the hassle of ownership.

Kia said in a statement that Purple M would use CODE42.ai’s proprietary urban mobility operating system (UMOS), a comprehensive mobility platform that integrates autonomous vehicle and air transportation services including e-hailing, fleet management, demand-responsive shuttle and smart logistics.

"With the newly established Purple M, Kia will be reborn as a leader for the era of e-mobility," Kia CEO Song Ho-sung was quoted as saying. Kia said that Purple M will is expected to provide a model for collaboration between larger, well-established firms and smaller, younger companies.

"Our goal is to accelerate the era of electric vehicles through Purple M," said CODE42.ai CEO Song Chang-hyun. "The integrated mobility and logistics platform UMOS will be central to building an e-mobility ecosystem encompassing everything from infrastructure to services."

The Hyundai auto group has accelerated its transition from a car manufacturer into a smart mobility systems provider. Kia's parent company, Hyundai Motor, has made a strategic investment in CODE42.ai to develop fleet and mobility systems, connected services, artificial intelligence and self-driving cars.