Kia Creates EV Mobility Start-Up

Kia is planning a major assault on the mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) market with the creation of a start-up company offering customized mobility solutions.

The automaker has founded Purple M in a joint venture with CODE42.ai, a Korean technology outfit focused on the transition to shared autonomous transport. The pair are hoping to create new concepts for mobility services and lead innovation.

Purple M will use CODE42.ai’s proprietary urban mobility operating system (UMOS), a platform which integrates autonomous vehicle and air transportation services including e-hailing, fleet management, demand-responsive shuttle and smart logistics.

The automaker says mobility services are still driven primarily by internal combustion engine vehicles, creating opportunities for an “EV mobility first mover”. This new entity aims to establish collaborative partnerships with specialist providers to develop a flexible e-mobility infrastructure and offer a wide range of services to a broad customer base. In particular, it hopes to contribute to the revitalization of Korea’s domestic mobility industry by cooperating with various mobility market players, while presenting new standards for mobility business models in the post-coronavirus era.

Ho Sung Song, CEO and president of Kia, said: “With the newly established ‘Purple M’, Kia will be reborn as a leader for the era of e-mobility. CODE42.ai is a leading Korean company in the field of future innovation technology, and is the best partner for successfully promoting a differentiated e-mobility service business.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_


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