Like most telematics systems, Blue Link -- and especially the evolved system, which first appears on the 2015 Genesis on sale this spring -- uses the driver’s smartphone to integrate the car with the user’s connected life outside the car: its Genesis Intelligence App feature aggregates real-time weather information and traffic with destination and calendar information to give the driver a digital nudge when he or she should hit the road to arrive on schedule.
Barry Ratzlaff, executive director of Hyundai Motor America's customer connect and service business development division, tells Marketing Daily that creating an ecosystem for third-party companies to develop apps that can interface with its vehicles is key to reducing the driver's temptation to pick up the smartphone while driving. He says if those apps are relevant when the driver isn't in the car, so much the better. "You think about your next destination often when you're not driving; when you're at your desk or walking down the street. So it’s an excellent example of how to extend the auto experience."
Blue Link last year integrated Google Maps into its search capability, and Hyundai is one of several automakers involved in the new Google- and Android-centric Open Automotive Alliance.
Ratzlaff says the collaboration is emblematic of where telematics is heading. "The big picture is that the Android and Google ecosystems are relevant to most people and to a lot of devices in our life, so we feel it’s important for us to at least explore how to integrate for that kind of ecosystem," he says. “While we are very aware of our own system and the importance of it to our brand, it would be foolish not to explore common ground. The Bluetooth standard is good example of how beneficial that can be."
He says Hyundai telematics application development is driven by consumer demand and customer experience. “A lot of people are talking telematics in terms of 'sexy' features, and that does help build the brand and sell cars, but we are also using it for enhancing the customer-car experience after you buy the car."
He says, for example, that the system delivers such info as diagnostics to dealers so the service event happens faster. The dealership gets data before the car gets serviced so diagnostics don't add to the wait time. "In that sense, we have time-shifted again through [telematics] intermediation."