Hyundai has mastered the Japanese art of first launching, then improving on, technology like that from your competitors. Such is the case with their Blue Link telematics system, which will offer features that OnStar users will be intimately familiar with, but include additional functions aimed directly at Generation Y. Lock yourself out of your new Hyundai Sonata, and a call to their hotline will quickly unlock your doors. Need roadside assistance? Help is just the push of a button away. Want turn-by-turn navigation? A Hyundai Blue Link operator will be happy to help you, and just like OnStar, Blue Link provides automated emergency response in the event of a crash. It will also immobilize your car if stolen, just like GM’s telematics system.
Hyundai is clearly aiming Blue Link at the “connected generation”, since the feature set doesn’t stop there. Location sharing will broadcast your location to members of your social network, and voice text messaging will ensure that Hyundai drivers aren’t out of touch when behind the wheel. Nanny features will tell you when your car’s been driven outside of a prescribed region by a valet or family member, and will also advise you if a speed threshold has been exceeded.
There’s plenty more features to be had in Blue Link (including some that will raise eyebrows at the NHTSA), but you get the idea: Hyundai has copied OnStar, then found ways to make it better.
Now we know what the service will cost, and, as expected, it undercuts OnStar by offering more features for less money. Hyundai’s basic service, called “Assurance,” includes automatic collision notification, SOS emergency assistance, enhanced roadside assistance and a monthly vehicle report, for an annual fee of $79. There’s no comparable OnStar package, since their entry-level Safe & Sound package includes a broader feature set.
Next up from Hyundai is the Assurance & Essentials package, which starts with the Assurance package and includes location sharing, voice text messaging, a smartphone app, remote door locking and unlocking, remote horn and lights, remote vehicle start, a service scheduling feature, remote diagnostics, maintenance alert, monthly vehicle diagnostic report, valet alert, geo-fence, speed alert, curfew (a time based alert), stolen vehicle recovery, panic notification and alarm notification, all for an annual fee of $179. This is comparable to OnStar’s Safe & Sound package ($199 annually), but includes Generation-Y focused features (like location sharing and voice texting) that OnStar simply doesn’t offer.
On the high end, Hyundai owners can opt for the Assurance, Essentials & Guidance package, which adds turn-by-turn navigation, POI search by voice, traffic updates, gas locator with pricing, restaurant ratings and weather, for an annual fee of $279. OnStar’s Directions & Connections package, their most comparable, charges $299 annually.
Buy a new Blue Link-equipped Hyundai and you get the Assurance package at no charge for six months. You also get the Essentials and Guidance packages free, but only for ninety days. Opt for an annual contract in your first 30 days of ownership, and Hyundai will double the length of your free Blue Link services. Like OnStar, there are also discounts available for multi-year contracts.
If you want more details on Hyundai’s Blue Link services, check out Nelson Ireson's comprehensive write up on AllCarTech. Look for Blue Link to be introduced on the 2012 Hyundai Sonata, followed by the 2012 Hyundai Veloster.
[Hyundai, via All Car Tech]