DRB-Hicom, the majority owner of Malaysia's first national carmaker Proton Holdings, is joining forces with local company Altel Communications and China's Ecarx (Hubei) Technology to provide connected car services in Malaysia.

Through its Proton Edar subsidiary, DRB-Hicom has agreed to establish a partnership dedicated to the development and sale of vehicle connectivity, digital cockpit, safety, autonomous vehicle and Internet of Things (IoT) services in relation to the local automotive industry, according to a company filing with Bursa Malaysia this week.

DRB-Hicom said the partnership "will create an opportunity for the Proton group to establish a car connectivity R&D centre in Malaysia for future product enhancement to suit the local and regional ecosystem and also for export markets with better and higher standards of services".

Proton Edar has proposed to fund its capital contribution in the new joint venture from internally generated funds.

DRB-Hicom added the new partnership will not materially affect its issued and paid up capital and individual shareholdings nor net assets per share of the group in the current financial year ending on 31st March 2020.