For as solid as it is to hit a button and talk to a live person that is willing to help you with your car and driving needs, the sad truth is that most people prefer not to talk with live operators, especially when they are driving. They want an answer, then they want to move on. Hyundai recognizes this, and has introduced what they are dubbing “the smartest Hyundais ever built”.
The system may sound reminiscent of OnStar, and in theory it is, but in function it is something else, and can justifiably be considered the next generation of that type of service. Where OnStar is almost entirely operator based, BlueLink combines a human operator with the current technology available, and makes the integration of the two seamless. With the press of a button, you can request information on things like a particular location. If the built in cell phone and GPS technology aren’t able to answer the question satisfactorily, the recorded question is sent to an operator that will then listen to the question and reply via text, which is then translated into spoken word.
As the level of sophistication of cell phones grows, the integration between car and handheld device also becomes easier, and more comprehensive. If you lose your car in a parking lot, a touch of a button on your cell phone will activate the GPS and lead you right there. It will also allow you to command your car to do certain functions via phone, including remote door unlocking, horn and headlight activation, and remote start.
Beyond the tricks of a sophisticated mobile connection, BlueLink also allows you to run self diagnostics on the car and notify you of the results. If there is a potential problem, the onboard computer would work with the remote operator and suggest the best next step. Combined with cameras around the car, it can also warn you of aggressive drivers, or potential problem drivers around you. And of course if there is a problem and you break down or wreck, the service will instantly notify the necessary people.
While in many ways this might just sound like OnStar 2.0, and in some ways it is, the level of connectivity is above anything seen in a car today.
If you like, the car will track your driving habits and suggest ways to make your car run smoother and more eco-friendly. Weather reports, speed and accident reports are sent to you, hands free voice activated texting is available, and even tips from the owner’s manual on how to operate the car more efficiently are all part of the package. Parents can even use the system to track their kids’ location and speed online, while social network integration can point out your friends’ exact location and lead you there.
The BlueLink system was just announced this year at CES, but expect to see it soon as an option in all Hyundais. Check out the video below for a deeper description, and look for it soon.