Hyundai’s Singapore Innovation Center to Create ‘Human-Centered Value Chain’
With the aim of "revolutionizing the future mobility value chain," the South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Group broke ground for its new Innovation Center in Singapore with a virtual ceremony in October. The $400 million center will be an open innovation lab for the Group's mobility R&D - with an emphasis on customer participation.
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong called the Hyundai Motor Group Innovation Center in Singapore (HMGICS) "the first of its kind in the world."
”SINGAPORE’S GOAL IS TO HAVE ALL OUR VEHICLES RUN ON CLEANER ENERGY BY 2040, IN LINE WITH OUR PARIS AGREEMENT COMMITMENTS. WE HOPE THIS WILL OPEN UP NEW GROWTH AREAS FOR OUR ECONOMY, AND CREATE EXCITING JOBS FOR SINGAPOREANS,” THE PRIME MINISTER SAID.
"Singapore's goal is to have all our vehicles run on cleaner energy by 2040, in line with our Paris Agreement commitments. We hope this will open up new growth areas for our economy, and create exciting jobs for Singaporeans," the prime minister said.
"It will enable Hyundai to develop new automotive technologies, including for the production of electric cars," said Prime Minister Lee. "It will also allow you to pilot new manufacturing models, to meet the demand for mass personalization of cars through small-scale factories in urban areas."
Hyundai's Innovation Center will act as a test bed for a human-centered intelligent manufacturing platform with a small scale EV production facility on the site.
Soon, customers will be able to customize and purchase vehicles online using a smartphone, which will immediately start production using Hyundai's on-demand technology.
The customers can then watch their cars being manufactured at HMGICS. Once a car is ready for delivery, it will be transferred to the 620-meter-long Sky Track where customers can test drive their vehicles.
Sky Track will sit atop HMGICS' state-of-the-art seven-story innovation lab, which is expected to produce up to 30,000 vehicles per year by 2025.
The facility will utilize the latest 'Industry 4.0' smart technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and robotics.
Hyundai says the logistics and assembly lines within HMGICS will be highly automated to establish a safe and efficient work environment.
The new Hyundai facility will be located in the Jurong Innovation District. Planned to accomodate the full manufacturing value chain, the district is already building what the prime minister called "a vibrant ecosystem of researchers, technology partners and factories of the future."
Self-driving Vehicles a Strong Focus
"Singapore has also been developing our plans for autonomous and electric vehicle research and development," Prime Minister Lee told the virtual event participants. "I am glad that Hyundai has invested in a joint venture, Motional, which conducts R&D and our autonomous vehicle trials here."
Headquartered in the U.S. city of Boston, Massachusetts, Motional has driverless technology operations in Pittsburgh, Las Vegas, Santa Monica, Singapore and Seoul.
Motional President and CEO Kurt Iagnemma, said, "Driverless vehicles have the potential to bring vast benefits to humanity. But the only way to fulfill this promise tomorrow is build trust in the technology today."
Singapore's elected officials hope that this new Innovation Center will pave the way for more Korean companies to invest in Singapore, partner with local suppliers and businesses, and collaborate with its universities and research institutes.
"Korea and Singapore have cooperated on multiple fronts and the HMGICS represents a new milestone in the continuing collaboration between our two nations," said Sung Yun-mo, Korean Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy at the virtual groundbreaking event. "The key to this collaboration will lie in finding ways to bring together our respective strengths."
Siting the facility in Singapore takes advantage of the sovereign island city-state’s existing strengths in advanced manufacturing and logistics.
”HYUNDAI MOTOR GROUP INNOVATION CENTER IN SINGAPORE WILL STRIVE FOR ‘HUMAN-CENTERED VALUE CHAIN INNOVATION FOR A MOBILITY PARADIGM SHIFT,” SAID HYUNDAI MOTOR GROUP EXECUTIVE VICE CHAIRMAN EUISUN CHUNG.
"We will offer products and services tailored to customers' needs. I am confident the innovations that spring from HMGICS will shape our future global society for the better and contribute to the progress of humanity," said Chung.
Hyundai's Three Strategic Directions
First, the Hyundai Motor Group promises to "enhance the value of work and the dignity of workers through a human-centered digital transformation."
HMGICS will develop innovative systems that combine advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Information and communications technology (ICT), and big data "to allow for work environments where creative potentials are fulfilled, and human value is enhanced," Hyundai says.
Second, the Group will build a customer-centered smart mobility environment where products are tailored to customer needs and mobility services enrich its customers' lives.
Finally, the Group will contribute to the building of Singapore's Smart Nation as a responsible industry member in the smart ecosystem. HMGICS, located in the heart of Singapore, will use eco-friendly energy sources like solar and hydrogen energy to help achieve carbon neutrality.
Smart Nation is a Singapore Government initiative to harness ICT technologies, networks and big data to create tech-enabled solutions. Launched by Prime Minister Lee in 2014, after three years, the government set aside $2.4 billion to support the initiative, by which the government purchases services from technology startups rather than offering grants to support them.
Sources: Statements from Hyundai Motor Group, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Motional, Wikipedia, Youtube video