Automotive telematics is dominating many hi-tech industry events from the enormous annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to this week's 11th annual Telematics Detroit 2011 Conference & Exhibition where manufacturers received kudos for their electronic advancements. With a heavy push to turn vehicles into moving state-of-the-art communication centers for multi-tasking drivers, the introduction of Hyundai Blue Link™ this week comes as no surprise as do their impressive wins of two Telematics Update Awards - one for Best Cloud Based In-Car Application Award which it shared with joint winner Entune from Toyota. Hyundai also was a joint winner of the 2010/11 Industry Newcomer Award with Nissan's LEAF CARWINGS.
In addition to Hyundai, Toyota and Nissan other award winners were WirelessCar for Best Telematics Service Provider, OnStar for Best Telematics Safety Technology, Hughes Telematics for Best Aftermarket Device or Solution, Airbiquity for Best Telematics Service or Solution for Commercial Vehicle, INRIX for Best Telematics Content Aggregator, TeleNav for Best Navigation Solution or Product, Audi Connect and BMW ConnectedDrive were joint winners for Global OEM Infotainment Solution and Kamyar Moinzadeh, President & CEO, Airbiquity and Peter Steiner, Head of Infotainment, Audi AG shared the Telematics Leadership Award.
Hyundai Blue Link™ is an all-new telematics platform that will offer more than 30 connectivity features on future Hyundai models, starting with the 2012 Sonata this summer and the Veloster 3-door coupe this Fall. Hyundai Blue Link™ will be available in three packages: Assurance at $79 per year, Essentials (includes Assurance) at $179 per year and Guidance (includes Essentials) at $279 per year with discounts when longer service agreements are purchased.
As part of the Blue Link™ launch, Hyundai will provide Blue Link features free of charge for a complimentary period that includes 6 months of the core safety services from "Assurance", three months of the convenience features from "Essentials" and three months of the point of interest search and navigation tools from "Guidance." If the customer elects for automatic renewal within 30 days of purchase, the complimentary period will be doubled for each of the packages; one year of "Assurance" and 6 months of both "Essentials and Guidance." After the introductory period, owners of Blue Link™-equipped vehicles can choose to extend their services.
The latest "Big Brother" features help the owner track their vehicle's location and speed when their kids, a valet, a thief or anyone takes their car for a spin. It also sends for help in the event of a crash and provides directions, restaurant recommendations and maintenance reminders. Avoiding tickets with hands-free voice text messaging, driving more efficiency thanks to Eco-Coach and catching thieves with the remote ability to gradually reduce the engine power could come in handy, too. Service Link schedules service at a Hyundai dealer and sends the dealer a recorded message of requested services in advance of the visit.
With all these telematics, one might forget that engine, chassis, brakes and even seats are really still the essential vital parts of a vehicle. All this complex vehicle connectivity allows people to be more productive and more protected while simply getting from A to B.