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Hyundai Card ∙ Commercial Tap IBM To Accelerate Digital Transformation

Vlad Poptamas

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Photo source: behance.net
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

During IBM ThinkHyundai Card ∙Commercial (www.hyundaicard.com), financial services subsidiaries of Hyundai and Kia Motors, announced today they are working with IBM (NYSE: IBM) to advance their use of cloud-based AI and blockchain technology with the aim of improving the customer experience and expanding their financial services business globally.

The news was shared during IBM Think 2019, IBM’s annual conference focused on technology and business.

For the first time in the Korean finance industry, Hyundai Card has introduced an AI-based chatbot for customer service. Named ‘Hyundai Card Buddy,’ it engages with customers to answer common questions quickly; while freeing Hyundai professionals to handle more complex customer service needs. South Korea has some of the highest rates of Internet use than any other country in the world, so Hyundai Card Buddy is a natural way to improve clients’ digital experience. Hyundai Card Buddy has helped one million customers since it has launched.

The system continuously learns through interactions with users and by relying on natural language processing and machine learning technology from IBM Watson, Hyundai Card Buddy is able to understand hidden meaning, interpret client questions and provide answers and information to enhance the client experience and streamline customer service operations.

In addition, Hyundai Commercial, a corporate finance company that provides leasing and financial services for commercial vehicles and construction equipment, is collaborating with IBM to apply blockchain and modernize its business model. Using the open source Hyperledger Fabric to create a new supply chain financing ecosystem for Hyundai Commercial, the network is designed to reduce lead times and costs in financial transactions among dealers, distributors, and manufacturers. The network for commercial financing will provide participants with a single view of all transactions happening in the network while automating manual processes and enabling transaction data to be securely managed and shared more efficiently.

“It’s almost impossible to fully understand or memorize the benefits, limits, or conditions of a finance product. Customer services employees’ turnover rate and training cost is very high while the customers demand high quality service. So we introduced IBM Watson and it became a very powerful tool to help our employees and helped us to lower our employee turnover rate to less than 10%,” said Ted Chung, CEO of Hyundai Card ∙ Hyundai Capital ∙Hyundai Commercial.

“Korea enjoys a digital-first financial services industry in which the rapid adoption of technologies such as artificial intelligence, analytics, blockchain and cloud are improving the customer experience and helping expand into new opportunities. Working with IBM, Hyundai Card ∙ Hyundai Commercial has pioneered these new technologies and has been a strong innovator in the industry,” said Andrew Chang, General Manager, IBM Korea.

IBM is a world leader in AI software, services, and technology for business. IBM has deployed Watson solutions in thousands of engagements with clients across 20 industries and 80 countries.

Additionally, IBM is recognized as the leading enterprise blockchain provider and has worked with hundreds of clients across financial services, supply chain, government, retail, digital rights management and healthcare to implement blockchain applications. The cloud-based IBM Blockchain Platform delivers the end-to-end capabilities that clients need to quickly activate and successfully develop, operate, govern and secure their own business networks.

 

SOURCE IBM

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Automotive

GAC Motor Unveils a New Model and Hosts International Distributor Conference During Auto Shanghai 2019

Vlad Poptamas

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Executives of GAC Group and GAC Motor gather with international distributors and partners
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

GAC Motor, China’s leading automaker, is debuting its all-new GA6, a sedan that features upgraded design, comfort, smart technology, driving control, and safety at the 18th Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition (Auto Shanghai 2019), during which GAC Motor is also hosting its International Distributor Conference.

“GAC Motor has been implementing the ‘quality first’ strategy and steadily improving product quality, while continuously promoting the strength of our brand. This year, we will introduce all-new GA6, GS4 and GS8, striving to create enjoyable life of mobility for our consumers,” noted Yu Jun, President of GAC Motor.

The all-new GA6 will be officially launched in June this year. The design of concise and clean lines, larger grille and full-width taillights gives the vehicle a sporty look. Capable of L2 Autonomous Driving, equipped with AI co-pilot operated by voice commands, and with a customized Harman Hi-Fi system, the GA6 offers a smart, safe and pleasant driving experience.

In addition, the ENTRANZE concept car has made its first domestic appearance at the show. Developed by GAC’s advanced design center in the United States, equipped with the latest smart technologies, sustainable features and automated driving, the ENTRANZE is a new type of cross-over of SUV and MPV, exploring more possibilities for a modern family vehicle.

With the showcase of its all-star vehicle lineup, GAC Motor attracted the attention of domestic and overseas media, dealers, suppliers and visitors. They have been deeply impressed by the excellent quality and design of GAC Motor’s models.

During Auto Shanghai 2019, more than 40 of GAC Motor’s international distributors from 15 countries and regions attended its International Distributor Conference (the “Conference”) in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province.

Themed “Stronger Together, Greater Future,” the conference focused on reviewing the brand’s successes of international development in 2018, and released the overseas strategies and planning for 2019.

In 2018, GAC Motor’s sales and services covered 16 countries and regions around the world and has achieved 69% growth in overseas sales. It has entered new markets such as Saudi Arabia and Ecuador, and launched new sales and service centers in countries including the PhilippinesBolivia, becoming one of the most popular auto brands in various markets, as well as the best-selling Chinese auto brand in KuwaitBahrain and Nigeria. It has also been ranked in the top 50 list of the 2018 Best China Brands ranked by leading brand consultancy Inter-brand.

In 2019, GAC Motor will further explore markets along the Belt and Road and other important regions, and complete its overseas platform. Following the establishment of GAC Motor North America Company and Russian sub-company, GAC Motor International Sales Company, the coordinating institution of the company’s overseas business, has started operation. The automaker will continue to improve its international operations to increase its international competitiveness.

Moreover, GAC Motor will continuously increase its investment in R&D in 2019 to maintain its edge in product offerings. Using in-depth analysis of market demand, it will put more effort into global branding, introduce adapted models in different markets, launch more sales and service centers, upgrade current stores, optimize its product market pricing strategy, and take more actions to increase oversea sales.

GAC Motor also presented awards to the best distributors, including Best Marketing Performance, Best Service Performance, Best Sales Performance, and Best Distributor, in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the overseas business in the past year.

At the conference, many of the dealers said that it helped them further understand GAC Motor’s product quality, R&D and manufacturing capability and strategic goals, and they are fully confident of the future development of GAC Motor in the international market.

“We will continue to invest in supporting our distributers and partners and establish a win-win cooperation model together,” said Yu.

 

SOURCE GAC Motor

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Automotive

SPECIAL EDITION STINGER GTS – ENTHUSIASTS REJOICE

Vlad Poptamas

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Since its debut nearly two years ago, the Kia Stinger has quickly become a crowd favorite, and at the New York International Auto Show, Kia Motors America gave driving purists yet another compelling reason to check out Kia’s highest performing sport sedan. Limited to just 800 units, the special edition Stinger GTS1 punches up its on-road prowess with a newly developed dynamic all-wheel drive system(D-AWD) that inspires more spirited driving. With sport-inspired styling elements including genuine carbon fiber parts and a splashy new color that demands even more attention, the limited edition GTS is the one automotive enthusiasts will be lining up to drive.

Closing the Gap
During its short time on the market, the Stinger has established itself as a true competitor in the sport sedan segment with performance figures strong enough to embarrass its German rivals. Along the way, it has also redefined the Kia brand and consumer perception. But with all the praise and accolades the Stinger has received, Albert Biermann, head of research and development, strived for more. The result is a new version of the Stinger’s all-wheel-drive system peppered with rear-wheel drive DNA. Dubbed D-AWD, the system has been tweaked to close the gap in behavior between the AWD-equipped and RWD-equipped Stinger GT.

  • Mechanical limited slip rear differential is added to the D-AWD system, which is designed to enhance traction and distribute power more evenly between the rear wheels when slip is detected
  • Drive Mode Select amplifies rear-biased dynamics
    • Comfort mode sends 60 percent of power to the rear for feeling of stability
    • Sport mode sends 80 percent of power to the rear for more spirited driving
    • Drift mode sends up to 100 percent of power to the rear wheels and holds gears without upshifting
  • New Control Logic
    • Slip Control and Counter Steer Detection
    • Transmission Shift Pattern
    • Stability Control

Available in either D-AWD or RWD, the Stinger GTS maintains the Stinger GT’s potent powertrain underneath the hood.

  • 3.3-liter V6 twin turbo
    • 365 horsepower
    • 376 lb-ft of torque
  • 8-speed automatic transmission

The Hot Spot in the Stinger Lineup
Aside from what lies beneath, the GTS shows it’s not your average Stinger thanks to a number of exterior and interior enhancements tailored to make it look ready for time on the track or carving hairpin turns.

Exterior enhancements include:

  • Exclusive “Federation” premium orange paint color
  • Genuine carbon fiber parts that outline the signature tiger nose grille, side mirror caps and side vents
  • GTS rear emblem
  • Center Stinger emblem replaces the Kia logo on the trunk lid for more custom appearance

Inside, the Stinger GTS adds more premium materials befitting of a true driver’s car.

  • Steering wheel and center console swathed in Alcantara®3
  • Headliner blanketed in premium suede-like Chamude®4

Handsomely and Affordably Equipped
Value continues to be pillar for the Stinger GTS, with lots of tech, creature comforts and driver assistance systems5. As part of the GTS treatment, the limited edition fastback includes:

  • Sunroof
  • 720-watt Harman/Kardon6 premium audio system with QuantumLogic7 and Clari-Fisignal enhancing technology
  • Wireless charger for compatible smartphones

Keeping it competitive, the Stinger GTS hits the sweet spot in terms of pricing. With a start of production planned for this spring, the limited edition GTS is expected to have an MSRP9 starting around $44,000 for RWD and around $46,500 for D-AWD.

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Artificial Intelligence

Kia HabaNiro Concept Heats Up Manhattan

Vlad Poptamas

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Kia HabaNiro concept heats up the New York International Auto Show.
Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

Today Kia Motors America (KMA) unveiled its vision of the future of electric vehicles and it’s hot.  And spicy. The HabaNiro concept is a fully-electric, all-wheel drive, four-seat wonder car with an All Electric Range (AER) of more than 300 miles, level-five autonomous mode, butterfly wing doors and more advanced tech than what helped land men on the moon. But this is no fanciful supercar that will likely never be built, but a prescient look into the future of mobility where automobiles will seamlessly integrate design, capability, usefulness and creativity.

Experience the interactive Multichannel News Release here: https://www.multivu.com/players/English/8468854-kia-habaniro-electric-concept/

“We wanted this concept to be comfortable navigating city streets, carving turns on a coastal road and off-roading with confidence to remote wilderness adventures,” said Tom Kearns, vice president of design for Kia Design Center America (KDCA). “We imagined a car for everyone and nearly everything. Then, when we saw the finished product, we were blown away by the imagination of the HabaNiro’s creators and its laboratory of technology and we want it in our driveways. Today.” With its rugged 20-inch wheels, short overhangs and big haunches, the HabaNiro exudes coiled muscularity and capability, whether you’re on a grocery run, en route to a meeting or in search of a remote fishing hole.

“We couldn’t be more proud of our design center,” says Michael Cole, KMA chief operating officer and executive vice president. “The HabaNiro is a genius work of skill and imagination. Not only does its beautiful design incorporate the needs of future mobility, but its engineering and technology anticipate the way people will want to move in the near future.”

A Whole New Category of Vehicle

The HabaNiro is a compact crossover utility vehicle only in terms of existing industry category language. But the HabaNiro can’t be so easily defined. It’s essentially an all-electric Everything Car or ECEV – commuter, crossover, sport utility, state-of-the-art technology workroom and adventure vehicle.

An Exterior to Move You

The HabaNiro design is defined by the energetic interplay between the protective metallic grey cladding that encompasses the front wheels and extends onto the body sides and the bright “Lava Red” aero panel that defines the C-pillar and extends up and over the roof. These two elements create a vibrant energy and a forward-leaning posture that suggests the HabaNiro is ready to launch. This latent forward energy is reinforced by the single elegant character line that wraps around the front end, extends through the shoulder, and ends dynamically pointed at the rear wheels.

The HabaNiro grille resembles a shark’s snout, complete with a slit-like gap full of gloss black aluminum “teeth” similar to the cooling blades found on high-end electronic equipment. The EV chassis architecture allowed the wheels to be pushed to the corners, giving the HabaNiro its wide and confident stance.

Satin aluminum skid plates, milled billet aluminum tow hooks, anodized Lava Red aluminum accents, and the embossed HabaNiro name complement the upscale look while suggesting the vehicle’s adventure-ready attitude. Perhaps most importantly, the heartbeat pulse of the daytime running lights announces the HabaNiro’s animated energy – “I’m alive.”

An Interior to Transport You and an Array of High-Tech Features

The scissor-like opening of the HabaNiro’s four butterfly-wing doors hints at its future-forward interior design. The Lava Red interior suggests passion and vibrancy. Modern and airy, the interior is accented by the bouclé fabric-trimmed front seats that appear to float within the spacious cabin. Contributing to the interior’s clean and modern appearance is the absence of rectangular screens and traditional control knobs and buttons. Instead, the HabaNiro features a full-width front windshield Heads-Up Display (HUD) system controlled by a concave acrylic instrument panel that is a large interactive touchpad display with Sensory Light Feedback (SLF). Technical Option Sharing System (TOSS) allows users to swipe and move vehicle options across the HUD screen as though moving chess pieces.

HabaNiro’s occupants are kept comfortable by a slim Perimeter Ventilation System (PVS) that quietly and evenly blows a curtain of air throughout the cabin. A soft ambient glow shines through the bold geometrically-patterned floor, creating movement that reflects onto surfaces within the cabin. The Lighting Color Effect (LCE) can be dimmed or brightened, and the hue can be modified to impact the mood of the interior environment.

When HabaNiro’s part-time level-five autonomous driving system is engaged the steering wheel and instrument panel retract forward to provide more room for the front occupants. Media or other entertainment, such as a movie for a long highway haul, can be displayed on the full-width HUD video system.

HabaNiro features Kia’s new Real-time Emotion Adaptive Driving (R.E.A.D.) System introduced earlier this year at the Consumer Electronics Show. R.E.A.D. can optimize and personalize a vehicle cabin space by analyzing a driver’s emotional state in real-time through artificial intelligence-based bio-signal recognition technology. The technology monitors the driver’s emotional state and tailors the interior environment according to its assessment – potentially altering conditions relating to the human senses within the cabin and in turn creating a more pleasurable and safer driving experience.

R.E.A.D. also enables the HabaNiro’s Eye Tracking System (ETS) with 180° rearview video display. The system uses AI-based emotional intelligence to monitor when the driver looks up to the top of the windshield where conventional rear view mirrors are traditionally located. The AI immediately senses the driver’s need to see behind the vehicle and instantly activates the 180° rearview video display.

There are no immediate plans to utilize AI to sense when the driver is hungry and then direct to the nearest drive-through where an order will be waiting, but the technology may someday evolve to make just such a task possible. AI and automation shouldn’t take the joy out of driving, as some auto lovers fear, but should enhance it – anticipating needs so we can concentrate on the driving experience.

Into the Future

Some will assume the HabaNiro concept will never be built, but we don’t advise betting the farm on it. In the past 18 months, Kia has launched two vehicles, the Stinger and the Telluride, from concepts that fully captured the public’s imagination. The HabaNiro’s butterfly doors? Maybe not today, but the future is an exciting place and Kia is ready to lead the automotive industry into this spicy world of possibility.

The Details

  • Dimensions
    • Length: 4430 mm/ 171 inches
    • Height: 1600 mm/ 63 inches
    • Width: 1955 mm/ 77 inches
    • Wheelbase: 2830 mm/ 111.5 inches
  • Powertrain and battery
    • e-AWD supplied by two electric motors, fore and aft
    • 300+ mile All Electric Range (AER)
    • Advanced state of the art battery technology
  • Exterior Features
    • Snowdrift Pearl White tri-coat exterior paint
    • Satin Metallic Granite Grey cladding
    • Anodized “Lava Red” aero panel
    • 265/50R20 tires
  • Interior Features
    • Heads-Up Display Features:
      • Navigation system with augmented reality graphic directions
      • 180° rearview video display in place of physical mirrors
      • Full windshield entertainment video system with surround sound
      • 3D speed readout display
      • Full width acrylic touch panel with Sensory Light Feedback (SLF) with Technical Option Sharing System (TOSS) feature provides interaction with HUD
    • AI-based R.E.A.D. technology
    • Eye Tracking System (ETS) enables 180° rearview video display

 

SOURCE Kia Motors America

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