2011 Hyundai Sonata South Korean model shownEnlarge Photo
Rumor has it that Hyundai is working on its own telematics system to rival GM's OnStar and Ford's Microsoft Sync. The news comes via a memo from Hyundai's manager of brand strategy, wherein he asks members of a focus group to help name the new product. Apparently, the system will have four major focuses, including safety/security, news/entertainment, navigation, and diagnostics. Of the names suggested so far -- including "Fuse" and "Emerge" -- none really stand out, but then, we weren't asked.
If true, this is an intriguing bit of news for Hyundai, which is riding a wave of positive press these days. However, we have to wonder where the differentiation between telematics systems is going to end. Given the direction things are going on the tech front -- more streamlined, cross-platform, cloud-based -- when is some entrepreneur going to develop a web-enabled, cross-platform system with a customizable list of bells and whistles? You know, something akin to today's smart phones, with an app store and everything, but a slightly bigger, built-in screen.
Any venture capitalists out there? Call us.