Microsoft is set to partner with Hyundai-Kia for new automotive ‘infortainment systems. The computer company targets 2010 as the year where the partnership will introduce its first product, a product that focuses on voice control of mobile devices inside a car. The partnership and their products aren’t just for the North American market. It is expected that the two companies is set to target Asian and European markets as well. This isn’t the first time that Microsoft has partnered with an automaker to develop some in-car technology. It can be remembered as well that Microsoft has an agreement with Ford Motor Co. to offer its Microsoft Auto system in North America under the Sync brand name. The deal of Microsoft with Ford Motor Company is set to expire this November. The Ford system, Sync connects mobile phones, iPods or mp3 players to the car’s audio system. The European company, Fiat also makes use of Microsoft technology in Europe and South America. The Fiat brand sells its cars with the software outside the US market.
The deal that was signed by the two companies will allow Hyundai and Kia Motors to sell cars that are equipped with the Microsoft Auto around the world starting November. But based on some reports, the companies are working on new capabilities and these products may not be available this fall. Though it wasn’t mentioned what type of capabilities that may be, it has been said that the companies are developing softwares that can include navigation and an emergency call service that can be activated once the air bags are inflated.
Hyundai is the world’s fifth largest automaker and South Korea’s largest manufacturer. In Ulsan, South Korea, the company operates the world’s largest integrated automobile manufacturing facility that can produce 1.6 million units annually.