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Volkswagen throws in with LG on ‘Cross-Over’ connected car platform

TechCrunch TechCrunch 6/07/2016 Darrell Etherington

Everyone’s picking teams for the coming connected car wars, and Volkswagen and LG have chosen each other. The new smart car squad announced a “memorandum of understanding” to collaborate on R&D related to a connected car platform to be developed “over the coming years” today.

So what, exactly, does this partnership entail? It’s not just the premise for a terrible buddy coop comedy; instead, here are the three goals that LG and VW hope to achieve by teaming up:

  • Developing technologies that bring together the connected car and the smart home so that drivers are able to control and monitor smart devices in their homes — such as lights, security systems and domestic appliances — from out on the road.

  • Developing a context-sensitive notification centre that can deliver messages in an intuitive and safe manner and provide optimised recommendations to the driver in real time.

  • Developing next-generation infotainment technology for connected cars.

LG has a head-start on the connected how piece, since they already make a host of connected appliances including smart washers, dryers and refrigerators. LG also makes smartphones, which you may or not have noticed, given the lacklustre sales of their latest modular G5 Android-powered smartphone.

One other key tidbit in the plan outline above: None of the bullet points talk about automation or making the car itself more intelligent as it pertains to the task of actually driving. But the goal of adding intelligence to the ecosystem that surrounds the car, and plugging it into infotainment as well as the smart home, has advantages in terms of being more achievable in the near-term; LG and Volkswagen already demonstrated some prototypes of this kind of tech in action at CES this year, as you can see below.

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