Considering that Korea and the EU are amongst the largest car manufacturing regions in the world, there is immense potential for collaboration in the automotive telematics industry. The commercial vehicle telematics market experienced a growth rate of 5% over the last five years, as Hyundai and KIA increasingly turn to GNSS as an integral part of future Information Technology Services (ITS).
Korea also has one of the world’s most advanced LBS portfolios, driven by the country’s superior IT infrastructure, commercial based services and favourable regulatory environment.
Furthermore, the EU-South Korea Free Trade Agreement has eliminated duties for most industrial goods, further enhancing the business environment for European entities.
Add all of this up and you get ample opportunities in Korea for European GNSS companies.
Collaboration is key
In the road sector, many Korean automobile manufacturers and their IT/electronic partners are turning to European made chips and devices. The sector is also relying on EU experts for help with certification, testing and implementing – particularly as the country works towards adopting an eCall system of their own. And in the LBS sector, several Korean smartphone and electronic manufacturers are implementing Galileo capability into their devices.
To ensure European industry is able to take full advantage of opportunities like these, the GNSS.asia Korea team is on the ground working with companies and collaborating with organisations. The GSA-funded GNSS.asia project is dedicated to developing and implementing GNSS industrial cooperation between European and Asia-Pacific GNSS industries, with a focus on the downstream market. The initiative is part of the EU-Korea GNSS Cooperation Agreement of 2006.
For example, the team has a strong partnership with the Institute of Positioning, Navigation and Timing (IPNT) (formerly the Korean GNSS Society (KGS)), an organisation established to stimulate the GNSS field in academia and business. The two meet monthly to discuss national and international multi-GNSS activities and how they can better collaborate to address these issues.
One of the key outcomes of this partnership is an intensive match making programme between European companies and Korean customers and partners. Such companies as NavCert, Syntony F, 3M Systems, Thales, Catapult, Easymile and Enertopia have all benefited from this valuable initiative. GNSS.asia also helps European companies engage with Korean government officials and navigate the complex bureaucratic system.
Thanks to this close collaboration, several business results have been achieved. For instance, as Korea looks to implement their own eCall system, modelled off the European system, the two partners have successfully positioned the multi-constellation, Galileo-enabled chipset as the standard. They have also actively supported Korea SBAS to adopt European structures and systems – including getting Korea SBAS to choose Thales as their system provider.
Just getting started
The successes that EU companies are seeing in Korea are testament to the power of collaboration – and this is only the tip of the iceberg. “As the multi-GNSS initiatives in Korea continue to mature, we will see more and more opportunities for European businesses, particularly in the areas of Korea SBAS, eCall and eLoran,” says GNSS.asia Managing Director Hyemi Hwang. “And we’re just getting started.”
According to Hwang, in order to implement Korea SBAS, the Korean government and industry have a preference for European technology and applications. “This is why they ultimately chose to partner with Thales,” she says. “The Korean government is confident that this partnership will result in the introduction and implementation of massive, real-life applications in the area of autonomous driving, maritime security and safety, and LBS-based drones for security, agriculture, logistics, mapping, and media/entertainment.” Hwang adds that the Korean government is also leveraging EGNOS and European applications to help make their aviation sector more efficient.
Likewise, as the country works towards implementing eCall, it regularly refers to the European system as the standard and is constantly on the lookout for chances to collaborate more closely. “European companies should look to Korean partners in order to take full advantage of this unique business opportunity,” adds Hwang. “To get started, all you have to do is contact your GNSS.asia team here in Korea.”
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