LG Electronics says to jointly develop connected car platform with Volkswagen

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An LG Electronics' logo is pictured on a laptop computer displayed at a shop in Seoul, South Korea, April 26, 2016.   REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
An LG Electronics’ logo is pictured on a laptop computer displayed at a shop in Seoul, South Korea, April 26, 2016.

Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji

South Korea’s LG Electronics Inc said on Wednesday it will work with German carmaker Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) to jointly develop a connected car platform to enable vehicles to communicate with external devices.

LG, in a statement, said it and Volkswagen will work to jointly develop over “the next few years” technologies allowing drivers to control and monitor devices in their homes such as lights and security systems, as well as in-vehicle entertainment technologies and an alerting system for drivers providing “recommendations” based on real-time situations.

Automakers and technology companies have been forming partnerships in recent years, as the race to develop self-driving cars has created need for more sophisticated components and software that will allow vehicles to seamlessly communicate with various external devices and servers via the internet.

LG Electronics, along with affiliates LG Display Co Ltd and LG Innotek Co Ltd, has identified the auto industry as a new growth driver and has been pushing to grow new businesses amid continued struggles for its mobile phones division.

LG and its sister companies last year clinched a deal to supply key components ranging from the battery cells and the electric motor for General Motors Co’s 2017 Chevrolet Bolt electric car, burnishing their credentials. LG companies also supply products such as car audio systems and batteries to Volkswagen.

In the statement on Wednesday, Thomas Form, Volkswagen’s head of electronics and vehicle research, called LG a strong partner and said the pair will work to integrate smart home solutions into Volkswagen vehicles.

(Reporting by Se Young Lee; Editing by Christopher Cushing)