In the build-up to the MG Hector’s India launch, MG Motor has been talking about the future of in-car connectivity and the ‘Internet of Cars’ on social media. Today, at its DriveIn event held in New Delhi, the carmaker revealed details of the Hector’s connectivity features (powered by what MG calls iSmart technology), and you might want to sit down because it is quite an elaborate list.
AI-powered Voice Assist
The most promising of the MG Hector’s connectivity features has to be Voice Assist. Developed by Nuance for the Hector, Voice Assist has been designed to understand Indian accents better, and it utilises artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve its understanding with time. The Hector’s Voice Assist is activated by saying ‘Hello MG’, and it can handle over 100 functions, including opening and closing of the windows and sunroof, and operating the climate control system and navigation. MG claims it works even in areas with poor connectivity.
Over-the-air updates and 5G capability
The Hector will come with an embedded Airtel SIM card, which, paired with the SUV’s Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6), will make it ready for 5G connectivity. What this also means is that owners of the MG Hector will be able to download over-the-air (OTA) updates for the software as and when they become available, much like one can for their smartphone.
Pre-loaded apps for the infotainment system
Additionally, the Hector’s infotainment system will come pre-loaded with a number of apps, including TomTom’s IQ Maps navigation, a Gaana Premium account for music streaming and an AccuWeather app for weather forecasts.
iSmart telematics smartphone app
There’s also the MG iSmart app, which will let Hector owners access real-time data on their smartphone, including the SUV’s location, tyre pressures, and let them enable geo-fencing. Using this app, one can also lock/unlock the doors, turn the ignition on and start the air-conditioning system. Additionally, the app will let owners schedule a service for their SUVs, and also keep track of the vehicle’s service history.
eCall emergency response system
What the Hector is also equipped with is the eCall emergency response system, which notifies MG’s customer management centre (named Pulse Hub) in case of an accident. When airbags are deployed, messages are sent to the Pulse Hub and registered phone numbers, and a series of emergency response actions are triggered.
Magnet dealer management system
Finally, there’s the Magnet dealer management system which will host information about the company, dealers, service centres and the customers. MG says this will enable recognition of customers and let them access services at the company’s dealerships and service centres.
In all, engine options on the SUV will include a 1.5-litre turbo-petrol, a 1.5-litre turbo-petrol with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system and a 2.0-litre diesel unit. The MG Hector’s launch is set to take place by June 2019. And with its price expected to be in the range of Rs 15-20 lakh (ex-showroom), its rivals will include the Tata Harrier and Jeep Compass.
Which of the MG Hector’s connectivity features do you think is the most promising? Let us know in the comments.