Hyundai Motor has set out the structure, focus and first ideas of its newly-established Project IONIQ Lab in Korea. The Project IONIQ Lab sets out to explore future mobility solutions through innovation, research and academic projects. It is a part of Hyundai Motor’s Project IONIQ, a long-term research and development project that predict changes in future mobility announced previously in this year’s Geneva Motor Show. 

The open innovation organization enables cooperation among Hyundai Motor, academic bodies and universities. Through the Lab, Hyundai Motor will work to suggest ideas for innovative technologies and concepts of future mobility that will enrich our daily lives. Wonhong Cho, Executive Vice President of Hyundai Motor Company said: “We are happy to announce the opening of the ‘Project IONIQ Lab’, which extends our efforts to understand future mobility and influence the concept of ‘freedom in mobility’. Hyundai Motor will advance theoretical and practical understanding, innovating to develop future mobility solutions tailored to our customers’ lifestyles.” 

The Lab will explore four key areas: freedom to use mobility whenever and wherever; freedom to connect to everyday life while on the move; freedom from accidents and inconveniences; and freedom from environmental pollution and energy exhaustion. 

The Project IONIQ Lab will be led by Dr. Soon Jong Lee, Professor of Seoul National University and Head of Korea Future Design & Research Institute, who will be supported by 10 researchers and 10 consultant experts. The group has already issued its first collective output, a summary of 12 future ‘megatrends’ that are likely to affect the car industry in 2030.

From a ‘hyper-connected society’ and ‘eco-ism’ to the ‘decentralization of power’ and ‘mega-urbanization’, the megatrends set out the Project IONIQ Lab’s vision of the world, explaining how mobility will interact with each trend. ‘Mega-urbanization’, in particular, is of great significance to the auto industry. The UN predicts that by 2030, approximately 70% of the world population – projected to be 4.9 billion people – will be living in urban areas. It is expected that this rise of megacities will have major effects on urbanite mobility and housing patterns.

Having tens of millions of people residing in increasingly denser areas raises issues concerning energy shortages, traffic congestion, pollution, further polarization, and a variety of other matters. It follows that people’s needs, preferences, and methods of transport will all change in accordance, drastically changing every aspect of public transportation, including hardware, software, and even the services themselves. 

Through the new Project IONIQ Lab, Hyundai Motor will predict changes in future mobility and study possible scenarios; develop new types of mobility according to changes in society and people’s lifestyles; and create new service models and mobility experiences to extend the role and definition of ‘cars’.

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[Chips Yap]

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