Hyundai & Kia See Promise Through Google’s Glass
Soon, owners of Hyundai‘s flagship Genesis sedan will be able to use their Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Glass headsets — provided that they own them — to engage in “pre-drive” operations such as remote starting and route planning, in mounting efforts to integrate as much technology as possible to attract a new generation of buyers.
The option will be first available on the 2015 Genesis, a fully redesigned car inside as well as out (the 2013 model is shown). The Google Glass capabilities would be an expansion on Hyundai’s existing Blue Link in-car system, which already provides diagnostic and maintenance services, Hyundai said in a statement. However, it was made clear by a Hyundai spokesperson that the Glass apps would be for pre-driving functions only, and would not be meant for use while driving.
While the pre-drive app is new ground for Google, it also represents a good opportunity to expand for Hyundai’s own app platform. ”In 2013, we saw millions of commands sent to Hyundai vehicles from our Blue Link mobile application,” said Barry Ratzlaff, who is the executive director of Customer Connect and Service Business Development for Hyundai. ”As new screens emerge, we see a real opportunity to expand our app strategy to provide added convenience for our owners.”
“We see wearables as a technology trend, expanding from fitness and health monitoring to broader applications,” Ratzlaff continued. “As a leader in connected car technology, we’re always exploring new ways to use technology to enhance the ownership experience for our customers. Wearables are a great way to extend the experience outside of the vehicle by leveraging these small screens to quickly access remote features and deliver timely vehicle information.”
Hyundai will be displaying the new system at the International CES technology trade show in Las Vegas; the Korean company is one of several automakers who have embraced mobile technology and integration with their vehicles: Tesla, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, and others have all taken to the mobile platform in one way or another to help boost driver engagement with their vehicles.