Kia has launched a new electric vehicle mobility service called Purple M in a new joint venture with Korean autonomous technology company Code42.ai.
Both companies plan to create new concepts for mobility and transportation-as-a-service products underpinned by Code42.ai’s proprietary Urban Mobility Operating System (UMOS).
UMOS is a mobility platform which integrates autonomous vehicle and air transportation services including e-hailing, fleet management, demand-responsive shuttle and smart logistics.
Ho Sung Song, CEO and president of Kia, said the new joint venture would help establish Kia as a leader for the era of e-mobility.
Purple M aims to establish an e-mobility service platform, and lead the development of a sustainable TaaS ecosystem by deploying EVs as part of any future mobility product launch.
Chang Song, founder and CEO of Code42.ai, will serve as Purple M chairman.
Seo Young-wu, a former CEO of Poolus, a carpooling service start-up, has been appointed as CEO of Purple M.
Song said: “Our goal is to accelerate the era of electric vehicles through Purple M.
"The integrated mobility and logistics platform UMOS will be central to building an e-mobility ecosystem encompassing everything from infrastructure to services."
The new start-up is expected to provide a model for collaboration between larger, well-established firms and smaller, younger companies in Korea, as the country seeks to establish a new start-up ecosystem to encourage technological innovation.
Earlier this year, Kia announced ‘Plan S’, its mid- to long-term strategy aimed at progressively establishing a leadership position in the future automotive industry, encompassing mobility services and vehicle electrification, connectivity and autonomy.
‘Plan S’ outlines Kia’s shift from a business focused on internal combustion engines toward one centered on EVs and customised mobility solutions.