The Korean automotive sector has been a powerhouse of economic growth, generating employment and penetrating global markets through robust exports. Today, the tides are shifting in the global auto market, underscored by the revolutionary CASE – Connectivity, Autonomous driving, Sharing services, and Electrification. With the advent of electric and hydrogen vehicles, the industry is transitioning from gasoline-powered engines to an era where software and data technologies are becoming integral.
Internationally, the automotive market is witnessing an explosive demand for essential components integral to autonomous driving software, semiconductors, and vehicle electrification. Korean startups and ventures are boldly entering these new realms, with established automotive giants pivoting to align with these evolving trends. Pangyo Techno Valley is at the heart of this transformation, striving to become a pivotal automotive industry cluster.
Divine Technology Inc (CEO Lee Yong-chae), headquartered at the Autonomous Driving Center in Pangyo Techno Valley, is a startup company that develops autonomous driving technology and medical twin technology based on CAE, “Computer Aided Engineering Simulation”. The company has developed “Divine Sim Suit”, an autonomous driving simulation software, to prevent safety problems that may arise when implementing an autonomous driving system.
Divine Sim Suit can prevent unexpected accidents by evaluating the driving performance and functions of sensors, algorithms, and systems required for autonomous driving. The solution also repeatedly tests numerous dangerous situations in real-time. In addition, as a complete testing solution, it provides various regulatory and legal data, edge case scenarios, traffic flow information, thermal camera simulation, and reliability testing.
42dot, a self-driving software developer, plans to move its headquarters from Seoul to the 2nd Pangyo Techno Valley this December. The company supplies Hyundai Motor Company‘s self-driving software program and focuses on R&D for SDVs, or software-defined vehicles. Hyundai Motor Group, a global automaker, acquired 42dot to transform its cars into SDVs and has since been working with 42dot to develop SDV technology unique to Korea. 42dot, which has attracted a cumulative investment of 1.5 trillion won, is helping to reduce Korea’s unemployment rate by posting hundreds of job openings even during the current economic downturn.
Mando HL, one of Korea’s conglomerates, has also entered the autonomous driving industry. The company is currently investing in the development of Mando HL’s unique autonomous driving technology and is supplying parts for the ADAS, Advanced Driver Assistance System, for Hyundai’s Genesis G90 model. Mando HL plans to commercialize the product by installing it in KIA’s EV9 model in the future.
Tire technology is also changing with the times. Hankook Tire is developing Intelligent Tire technology, which collects and analyzes driving data with complex sensors installed inside. Intelligent Tires can contribute to safer driving and vehicle management based on driving data. Since electric vehicles drive differently from existing internal combustion engines, how EV tires are manufactured must also change. Hankook Tire is working to differentiate its tires’ friction level and handling to create driving comfort using the company’s proprietary technology.
In 2021, the Korean government announced its initiative to help 1,000 parts companies transform their businesses to fit the future automotive industry by 2030 and to help these companies enter the global market and achieve total sales of 1 trillion won. The goals of this initiative include the creation of 250 parts companies that achieve export profits of $10 million. It is expected that various automobile companies will cooperate and grow together in Pangyo Techno Valley and succeed in the global future car market.
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