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LG Electronics to unveil autonomous vehicle next month

By Park Eel-kyung & Kim Tae-gyu, UPI News Korea
LG Electronics to unveil autonomous vehicle next month
LG Electronics’ self-driving vehicle is called the Omnipod. LG Electronics plans to present the new vehicle during a mobility show next month. Photo courtesy of LG Electronics

SEOUL, Jan. 26 (UPI) -- South Korean home appliance maker LG Electronics is diversifying its business portfolio by tapping into the autonomous vehicle industry.

The conglomerate announced Monday that it would present its self-driving car, called the Omnipod, during a mobility fair in Seoul on Feb. 10.

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LG Electronics showed off the new car in a video during the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this month in Las Vegas, but the firm has yet to showcase the real-life version.

The vehicle is equipped with consumer appliances tailor-made for in-car use, as well as a virtual personal assistant called Reah Keem, who also has plans to debut as a singer, the company said.

"The Omnipod converges our strengths in home appliances, displays and electronic components," LG design center chief Lee Chul-bae said in a statement.

Many other IT companies around the world have pushed into autonomous driving, as demonstrated by Google's Waymo and Intel's Mobileye.

Conventional automakers, including General Motors and Hyundai Motor, are also trying to enter the market.

During the CES, GM presented a two-passenger self-driving concept car, dubbed InnerSpace, which came from its luxury brand Cadillac.

GM CEO Mary Barra said the automaker plans to offer a personal autonomous electric vehicle as soon as mid-decade.

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"We don't know much about LG Electronics' technological edge in autonomous driving," Daelim University automotive Professor Kim Pil-soo told UPI News Korea.

"Although the firm has competitiveness in related technologies, self-driving cars require many complicated solutions like software and lidar," he said.

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