Korea, France join forces on driverless cars R&D

November 28, 2014 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
The governments of Korea and France decided to conduct jointly funded R&D projects to develop software and parts for driverless cars, reports newspaper Korea Joongang Daily. Other topics for the joint R&D efforts are wearables and digital medical devices.

Through the joint R&D projects, the two countries hope to become market leaders in the new business areas. The projects will be successful with Korea's strong information and communications technologies (ICT) and manufacturing technologies, and France’s wide pool of basic science and source technologies create synergy, said the assistant ministers at a forum earlier this week where more than 200 government officials, researchers and private sector executives from Korea and France discussed project details and schedules.

Three working groups of scholars and private companies were formed in each of the three areas.

Korean auto parts and telecom device developers including LG Electronics, Renault Samsung Motors and Hyundai Mobis, and Renault Motors from France, will jointly develop radar and communication modules, key parts of driverless cars.

Researchers from Korea’s state-run Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute and Geneva-based STMicroelectronics agreed to participate in a joint project to develop a system semiconductor required in communication among wearable mobile devices and a central processing chip in cars.

Korea’s top medical schools and French health care software developer Voluntis will jointly develop personalized medicine, consisting of treatment regimens based on genetic traits, DNA analytics technology and a big data management system that can quickly analyse patient’s genetic information.

The projects will start next year with €2.17 million from the two countries and € 7.45 million from the European Commission’s Eureka program fund.