Connected Car Technology
Connected car, the new buzz word in the automotive industry.
Affordable car brands have been leading the way to introduce connected car tech in India.
The brand’s like MG, Kia, Hyundai, Nissan & Tata managed to make connected cars quite popular in India.
When did the connected car's tech start?
America’s General Motors was the first car company to bring the connected car tech to market in 1996 in collaboration with Motorola. Its primary purpose was to increase passenger safety by getting emergency help in case of an accident; remote car diagnostics was added to it in 2001. The connected car technology has come a long way since then, thanks to the rapid development and advancement in communication systems, Internet, and AI.
What is Connected Car Technology?
For the connected car feature to work, the vehicles need access to the Internet, which is made possible through a physical SIM card or an E-SIM (electronic SIM).
Dedicated smartphone apps act as the gateway to communicate with the car and operate the features offered by the car’s connected tech.
Connected car technology was created as a vehicle safety feature and it still remains as one of its core features. Most of these advanced connected car systems offer a wide range of security features that allow remote monitoring of the vehicle
One of the biggest advantages of having connected technology powering the infotainment systems is that these systems support smartphone-like over the air (OTA) updates. The companies can remotely update the software fixing bugs and add updates without the need of the car to be brought to the service centre.
The infotainment systems on these connected cars are just as important as the dedicated apps. It not only makes the system user-friendly and intuitive but presents them in an attractive package for an immersive experience. Feature-packed infotainment systems are considered to be more of a necessity than a luxury these days. Buyers put them on top of their list of must-haves while looking for a new car.
Details about few Car Connected Technologies in India:
The MG Hector gets the iSmart NextGen, which boasts of more than 50 connected features. The iSmart Next Gen comes with embedded connectivity solution, maps and navigation services, voice assistant, pre-loaded infotainment content, emergency and concierge services and built-in apps. It also supports over the air (OTA) updates. There is an embedded machine to machine (M2M) eSIM. The platform is Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPV6) and 5G ready.
Kia Seltos gets the UVO connected car technology and it provides as many as 37 smart features under five separate sections - navigation, safety and security, vehicle management, remote control and convenience. There is a dedicated button on the IRVM for making use of this technology.
Hyundai has launched Blue Link Technology with its Compact SUV Venue and later on added it to Newly Updated Creta & Verna. The new technology has 33 new features and 10 of them are India specific. There are features like remote climate control, live traffic information, geo-fence alert, live car location sharing, speed alert, roadside assistance, auto crash notification, stolen vehicle immobilisation, push maps by a call centre, voice recognition - Indian English, live car tracking, driving information/behaviour, SOS/emergency assistance and valet alert.
Nissan Kicks makes use of Nissan Connect an integrated information and communication platform. The connectivity technology comes with features like SoS, track and trace, tow-away alert, vehicle low battery alert, automated impact alert, sudden turn alert, sudden brake alert, curfew alert and geofencing. Other features include idling run time, smart drive score, quick reference videos and intelligent route guidance. Besides, the 'way to my car' feature helps in searching the vehicle at the parking lot.
Tata IRA Technology
The connected technology on the Tata is called the iRA or intelligent Real-Time Assist. The 2020 Tata Nexon is said to be the first product from the brand to receive this feature.
IRA Connected Technology provides geofencing, find-my-car via a smartphone application, live vehicle diagnostics, intrusion alert and vehicle-crash notification. The connected technology also comes with voice commands developed to understand Hindi, English and even Hinglish (Hindi + English) language as well.
The iRA connected technology also comes with What3words - a step-by-step navigation feature. This feature also analyses the driving patterns and provides feedback as well.