The world has moved ahead at a very fast pace over the last few years. It is not the same as it was a few years ago and the same is true in the case of cars. Four wheels are no longer mere tools which help you travel from one place to another. Cars have evolved and how!
Just like people had to get accustomed to the advent of new technologies, cars too have had to adopt these new technologies into their system to make one’s driving experience more pleasant and convenient.
While some countries have already implemented the connected technologies in their cars for quite a while now, in India, manufacturers have started offering these technologies in the last few years. In this article, we look at all the cars which offer connected technologies in India and the features which are on offer.
Auto Link- Hyundai Elite i20
Hyundai was one of the first manufacturers to offer in-car connectivity technology when they offered the Auto Link connectivity app for the Elite i20 and the first generation Creta. Although this app may now seem very outdated, back when it was launched it offered useful features such as engine start/stop, car lock/unlock, maintenance and service related information and roadside assistance. This app would soon be redundant as the new i20 scheduled to launch this year will upgrade to the more advanced BlueLink app.
BlueLink- Hyundai Venue, Aura, Creta, Verna, Tucson
Hyundai has now offered a more advanced connectivity technology called the BlueLink in all its latest offerings. The first model to feature this technology was the sub-compact SUV Venue which was launched last year and every new product launched since then has offered the BlueLink connectivity app. The BlueLink app offers a host of advanced features such as remote start/stop, door lock/unlock, auto ac on/off, Find My Car Location, seat ventilation (Verna) and much more. It also offers safety features such as SOS / Emergency Assistance, roadside assistance and stolen vehicle tracking among others.
iRa- Tata Nexon, Nexon EV
The new connected iRa or Intelligent Real-Time Assist is built and designed by Tata Motors specifically for India and it caters to its unique driving conditions. The new technology is claimed to keep the consumers connected, safe and adds to the driving convenience. iRA connected technology on the BS6 Tata Nexon includes geo-fencing, car locator, a natural voice system compatible, and social media integration via the Tribes app.
The iRA contains the revolutionary 3-word global addressing system, ‘what3words’, which ensures the accuracy of 3 meters in your location search & navigation. This feature also analyses the driving patterns and provides feedback as well. The connected technology ensures the safety of the passengers by always keeping a track of the car through one’s smartphone using Geofence and Find My Car feature.
FordPass- Ford EcoSport, Aspire, Freestyle, Figo, Endeavour
The new connected technology from Ford called FordPass offers a host of features. FordPass works on an in-built 4G data connection that will be free for the first three years from the date of purchase. Buyers will have access to the FordPass application on their phones, through which they can control various operations like starting, stopping, locking or unlocking the car. The users also get real-time vehicle-related information tyre pressures, fuel level, odometer reading. Among other features offered are SOS and roadside assistance.
iSmart- MG Hector, Hector Plus, ZS EV
MG Motor launched the first fully connected ‘Internet SUV’ in the form of Hector exactly one year ago. The number of features offered under the iSmart connectivity app is exhaustive. iSMART is an intelligent 4G network system that enables 24/7 internet connectivity in your car and allows you to control your MG car remotely. The biggest advantage of the connected mobility is OTA (Over-The-Air updates) which is the first by any manufacturer in India. Apart from getting all the real-time vehicle-related information on one’s smartphone, it also offers Voice Activated Commands(VAC) for operations such as opening/closing sunroof, the temperature setting of the AC and so on.
UVO Connect- Kia Seltos, Carnival
The UVO connect from Kia Motors is another major player in the connected car technology which offers as many 37 smart features. This includes live car monitoring, geo-fencing, Find My Car Location, Remote engine start/stop, auto ac on/off and many voice-activated commands. Like the BLueLink, iRa and iSmart, this too is a sim-embedded connectivity system hence one can even find out any information from the internet just like the score of a cricket match directly by using his/her voice. Other notable safety features include SOS- Emergency Assistance, roadside assistance, and stolen vehicle tracking and immobilization.
Honda Connect – Honda City
The latest version of the Honda Connect is only offered in the recently introduced fifth-generation Honda City. This technology offers the Remote Operations feature that lets you switch on/off AC remotely (AC works only in CVT models). One can know about the current status and condition of your car using the Car Dashboard feature of Honda Connect. Get updates on the car door lock/ unlock status, AC on/off status, fuel, seat belt, and windows status, odometer reading, parking brake. What is more special is this version comes Alexa remote capability which offers a host of Voice-Activated Commands such as AC on/off, temperature setting, remote boot opening and much more.
BlueSense App- Mahindra XUV500, XUV500
The new BlueSense App in the new updated XUV500 and the XUV300 provide basic features such as audio controls through one’s smartwatch, auto ac functions and other vehicle-related information. It also offers location-based services such as Locate My vehicle, Fuel Stations Near Me and Share My Location.
NissanConnect- Nissan Kicks
Nissan offers the NissanConnect connectivity app on the Kicks which provides features such as geo-fencing, speed alerts, tow alert and location-based services. It also allows consumers to book their service appointments with preferred service stations.
UConnect – Jeep Compass
Jeep India provides connectivity features through the UConnect app in the Compass. It allows one to lock or unlock your car from virtually anywhere, start your car and cancel start remotely, flash the lights and sound the horn to help find your car, locate your car on a map using Vehicle Finder.
Other Notable Mentions
Almost all luxury car makers which offer their products in India either via CKD or CBU route provide connected car technologies like. For example, Audi provides connectivity features through myAudi Connect which offers features such as information and real-time tracking of the vehicle, parking spot guide and much more. It allows users to do a POI (point of interest) search right from within the mobile app instead of going through their car’s infotainment system.