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Hyundai’s Genesis luxury brand launches smartphone, smartwatch apps

Why it matters to you

Genesis hopes to stand out from the luxury car crowd by adding more connectivity features.

Hyundai already offers smartphone and smartwatch apps for its mainstream models, and now the Korean automaker’s Genesis luxury brand is getting them as well. It’s one more way Genesis is trying to distinguish itself from more established luxury brands.

The Genesis Intelligent Assistant app allows owners to monitor their vehicles and access connected features, with some features also available through the companion smartwatch app (compatible with Apple Watch or Android Wear). The smartwatch app allows users to remotely activate the climate control, lock or unlock doors, sound the horn, flash the lights, or stop the engine after the car has been remote started using the key fob. The app also includes a car finder, in case the user loses it in a crowded parking lot.

From a smartphone, Genesis owners can access an FAQ page, manuals, and how-to videos for features on their cars. It also allows owners to review a “Monthly Vehicle Health Report,” recall notices, and a vehicle’s service history, as well as coordinate valet service appointments. Like Tesla, Genesis offers the option of having a car picked up, and a loaner dropped off, at an owner’s home for scheduled servicing.

More: 2017 Genesis G90 first drive

Genesis also offers a series of connected services, which are accessed either through the smartphone app or the MyGenesisUSA.com website. In addition to previously-mentioned remote vehicle-access features and Monthly Vehicle Health Report, these include automatic collision notification and emergency roadside assistance; Google destination search; geofencing, speed, and curfew controls; and an Amazon Alexa Skill. Connected services are free for the first three years of ownership, with a subscription fee after that.

Hyundai announced the brand in late 2015, and it currently two models, both large sedans. The G80 was previously sold as a Hyundai, while the even-larger G90 is the first model to be sold as a Genesis from the outset. The brand is expected to launch a smaller sedan and a coupe in the coming months, as well as the obligatory SUV.

The luxury segment is already crowded with established players, not to mention Tesla and other startups looking to repeat its success. Time will tell if these new tech features help Genesis separate itself from the herd.