SEOUL -- Hyundai Motor ventured into the last mile logistics market with strategic investments in two promising start-ups in South Korea and China to develop smart delivery solutions using advanced technology such as autonomous driving.
Hyundai said Wednesday that it would invest an undisclosed sum of money into Chinese e-scooter maker Immotor to develop a personal mobility platform targeting the fast-growing Chinese logistics market. Immotor produces foldable electric scooters with modular batteries.
Separately, Hyundai invested 27.5 billion won ($24.3 million) into Mesh Korea, an IT-based logistics startup which established South Korea's first last-mile logistics network and launched Vroong, a last mile service for deliverymen on bikes.
Hyundai saw its last-mile logistics service as a new future growth engine. It aims to introduce innovative technologies such as unmanned delivery vehicles by combining smart car technologies such as autonomous navigation
Last mile logistics refers to the final step of delivery from a distribution center or facility to the end user. To get products to consumers faster, logistics and sharing firms are using new technologies such as IOT, autonomous navigation, and robot technology, drones, droids and unmanned delivery vehicles.
Hyundai said it would develop new last mile services through a tie-up with Immotor, which has about 500 battery swapping stations in 16 cities across China and offers battery swapping to deliverymen for a monthly fee.
Immotor's core technology can track deliverymen's courses, battery status, and nearby charging station status, and can analyze data in real time for maximum efficiency.
Hyundai plans to combine its autonomous driving and connected car technology with Mesh Korea's unique logistics algorithm technology and infrastructure.
The Korean startup focuses on developing online real-time same-day delivery platforms. Vroong maximizes efficiency by allocating optimal riders considering distance, location, delivery route and time between shops and customers. It operates more than 100 stations and has a nationwide bike logistics network.
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