The Connected Car battle is beginning in India, and both China's MG and Korea's Hyundai Motor seem to be taking opening positions on this new battlefront. Hyundai recently made an announcement about its new subcompact SUV Venue that's launching in mere weeks as being India's first connected car. It will offer a slew of services which will see everything from emergency response, navigation, to remotely operating the car's features happening with ease. While some of the integrated features make use of the owner's connected smartphone, majority will work through the car's inbuilt eSim card. Hyundai has also announced a partnership with Vodafone-Idea for the same. While some of the expense involved will be bundled as a one time-cost within the car's price, sources at Hyundai have revealed that the users will have no monthly data or tariff plan for the use of the eSim's connectivity services. It remains unclear if the service will subsequently be chargeable as it is introduced to other Hyundai models over the next 2-3 year period. The big advantage here for potential buyers then is that they need not use their smartphone, and therefore own existing data plan for many of the services or features, that many car's currently offer only through smartphone integration.
Also Read: Hyundai Venue India Unveil Date Revealed
Having said that the Hyundai Venue will still make good on offering features like Apple Car Play and Android Auto - which of course do work through said integration anyway. But while navigation can now therefore be left to the car's own connectivity, it will also mean a whole host of other features connected to the cloud, that the car will handle by itself - including SOS response or even geo-fencing. SAIC's MG Motor will also be introducing its first car - the Hector compact SUV in the next couple of months. Launching soon after the Hyundai Venue, the two cars will not compete in the same segment anyway. But the MG Hector will also be offering a whole array of connectivity features. This is likely to spark a new trend, and most carmakers are now rushing to offer all of this in their cars. While many are already exploring partnerships like the one between Hyundai and Vodafone-Idea, others are also looking at tie-ups with major IT companies. carandbike was the first to report that Ford is now set to offer Alexa personal assistant through its Amazon Echo integration.Ford already works closely with Microsoft for its Sync. IT giants like Cisco, Apple, IBM and telecom players like AT&T are also co-developing a number of new systems with OEMs worldwide.
The Hyundai Venue will get the company's 'BlueLink' connected technology and it will have 10 India-only features with a total of 33 connectivity features. Some of the features that BlueLink will offer in India are geo-fencing, speed alerts, SOS, panic notifications, destination sharing, and road-side assistance and so on. It also includes voice guidance and recognition in Indian-accented English which means that the software will be able to recognise spoken English from different regions in India. The Hyundai Venue will also have remote-control operated functions such as climate control, horn and headlamps on, vehicle status, engine start/stop and so on. The best thing is that Hyundai BlueLink can use your smartphone interface as a remote control.