LG and Magna partner on new self-driving tech to power cars of the future

LG Electronics has announced a partnership with the automotive tech supplier Magna to develop a self-driving solution aimed at anticipating car makers’ future needs.

Under the agreement, the company, through its vehicle component solutions (VS) division, and the Canadian auto parts maker, Magna, will explore the integration of in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) with an advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) to create an autonomous driving solution.

The concept will focus on meeting car manufacturers’ needs, anticipating the vehicles of the future. To that effect, both LG and Magna plan to introduce the concept to global automakers during the Consumer Technology Association’s tech event, CES 2023.

“We are excited to work with Magna, now in the automated driving sector, to develop a proof of concept that could bring value expanding beyond our cockpit domain,” said Eun Seok-hyun, president of LG VS Company. “We plan to work closely together to demonstrate potential ADAS innovations that could help automakers address some of their toughest challenges.”

Ongoing collaboration 

The partnership comes after the two companies launched a joint venture in July 2021. The new company, LG Magna e-Powertrain Co., Ltd, unified Magna’s strength in electric powertrain systems and automotive manufacturing with LG’s expertise in component development for e-motors and inverters. LG Magna e-Powertrain manufactures e-motors, inverters and on-board chargers as well as related e-drive systems for automakers and offers automakers a scalable portfolio of electrification solutions and e-drive systems.

“Partnering with Magna enables LG to scale-up its global production, provide additional business opportunities and offer synergies in procurement and technological innovation,” said CEO Cheong at the time of the joint venture.

Partnering to create an autonomous driving solution. (Photo: LG)

New growth drivers for LG

Seoul-based LG has been diversifying its revenue sources for some time, building competencies outside of its traditional home appliance and TV business. According to a company spokesman: “LG Electronics has been solidifying its leadership status in home appliances, which play a cash cow role in our portfolio. Our strategy is to retain a leading position in the sector and seek new growth engines.”

The vehicle component concern is one such example. Specialising in cockpit electronics, connectivity, automotive vision systems and digital cockpit solutions, LG’s VS division aims to be an innovation partner for future mobility. Already a leader in the IVI space for the automobile industry, the company works with global automakers like Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Volkswagen to create connectivity, infotainment and ADAS solutions.

“LG recognised early on that its broad range of core competencies – including innovative home appliances and home entertainment technologies – would enable it to compete in the emerging autonomous driving and electric vehicle markets. Its vast experience and know-how in diverse product and tech fields have given LG a strong advantage in the wider future mobility sector, and allowed it to meet rising demand from global automakers,” the company said in a statement last year.

Strategic alliances

To enhance its offering and strengthen its capabilities in this area, LG has created a number of strategic partnerships like the current agreement with Magna. Alliances with complementary tech suppliers have covered areas such as automotive cybersecurity and artificial intelligence (AI).

Among its latest alliances was an agreement with Altair, a computational science and artificial intelligence (AI) provider, to jointly developed an AI validation platform for vehicle component verification. Another recent partnership was with SoundHound AI, a voice artificial intelligence (AI) company, to develop in-vehicle advanced voice AI technology.

Magna is one of the world’s largest suppliers in the automotive space with more than 60 years of experience in mobility technology. Based in Ontario, Canada, the company boasts over 300 manufacturing operations and 84 product development, engineering and sales centres across 28 countries. Magna is listed on both the New York and Toronto stock markets.

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