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NowCar Mocean Carshare Hyundai Kia Motors Aptiv

Kia Motors and Hyundai Open MoceanLab

Written By, Jordan R

Just last month, October 2019, we were discussing a new contract between the Hyundai Motor Group and global technology company Aptiv. When it comes to automobile groups like the Hyundai Motor Group (HMG), there’s always a number of brands under the umbrella, just like Fiat Chrysler has many brands that it owns. Kia Motors is one of the brands that make up HMG, and because of that, the two tend to work together on new projects. The latest project HMG and Kia Motors are working on as a result of the joint-venture with Aptiv is MoceanLab.

What is MoceanLab?

MoceanLab is just the first step in transforming the automobile ecosystem – or that’s what these pioneers are starting to call it. The vision is a world where everyone has access to a mode of public transportation or personal mobility. We’re talking a network of ride hailing apps for everything from a car to the train. Of course, to test something like that, automakers would need to go somewhere progressive, and that’s where the city of Los Angeles comes in.

“Hyundai Motor Group will introduce innovative mobility platforms and demonstrate diverse mobility services in Los Angeles…More and more customers, including citizens of LA and tourists, will greatly benefit from MoceanLab as its service gradually covers a larger area of LA and diversify its mobility services. With such efforts, Hyundai Motor Group aims to lead the technology development for clean mobility.” - Kyounglim Yun, Executive Vice President of HMG.

Once opening up shop, MoceanLab will break out a carsharing pilot program known as Mocean Carshare. After getting proper certification and licenses from the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) and Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA METRO), the testing fleet will be made up of 20 Hyundai IONIQ Plug-in Hybrid Electric vehicles at the end of 2019. Following this, the fleet will expand into 300 fully electric vehicles from Hyundai and Kia Motors.

Kia Motors has recently claimed to be the next all-electric automaker and is already at work on a concept called the Futuron. Although a prototype has yet to be produced, the current render resembles that of the concept during the Imagine by Kia demonstration at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. Assuming there’s already talk behind closed doors, Kia Motors may be working on this concept or another electric vehicle to make up the fleet.

Aptiv also plays a large part. As we discussed before, Aptiv has written history as the first company to conduct a coast-to-coast drive in the United States in a self-driving vehicle and is known as the industry’s most innovative vehicle technology provider. The company itself already operates over 100 autonomous vehicles on multiple continents and is currently known as the leading ride-hailing network in Las Vegas. Eventually, MoceanLab will make use of this technology with Mocean Carshare and turn the carsharing program into a self-driving ride hailing program.

At the same time, the HMG is currently testing a project known as BotRide. It’s a fleet of self-driving KONA Electric SUVs in Irvine, California in collaboration with and Via. Although not an official network just yet, this is sounding a lot like what Aptiv currently has in Vegas, and like the Waymo One that launched in Phoenix, Arizona last year. Self-driving personal mobility is slowly spreading, but can it handle the traffic congestion of Miami?

Nevertheless, like all technology introduced into the automotive industry, MoceanLab will have to go under extensive review by government officials. Already getting started, MoceanLab demonstrated its carsharing and shuttle technology to over 2000 major government and industry officials at the 2019 CoMotion LA event. Such individuals included Mayor Eric Garcetti, and Nina Hachigian, Deputy Mayor of International Affairs of LA.

Interested to learn more? Join the discussion on NowCar social media and catch up on all the latest for Kia Motors.

Photo Source/Copyright: Kia Media