A couple of months ago, I watched a science fiction movie. In that movie, the characters talked to their homes and cars as normally as we talk to each other. And the houses, cars, and other gadgets obeyed the voice commands without a hitch. That movie was a fiction. But connected devices capable of obeying our voice commands are already a reality.
Besides our houses and gadgets, our cars are getting internet enabled too and equipped with smart technologies. Today, in a grand event held in Delhi, MG Motor unveiled India’s first Internet Car, the MG Hector.
MG Hector, equipped with iSMART Next Gen, is a smart car with a tablet like head unit that understands touch and voice commands. That is, just by speaking to it, you can control the car’s various functions like playing music, controlling the air conditioning, operating the windows, sun roof etc. All this can even be done remotely using a smartphone app. MG Motor has partnered with Microsoft, Adobe, Unlimit, SAP, Cisco, Gaana, TomTom and Nuance to add cutting-edge technologies to this internet car.
Speaking at the launch even, Rajeev Chaba, President & Managing Director, MG Motor India said, “The integration of internet with cars opens up a gamut of features that can ensure a seamless and updated ownership experience for MG customers in India. With an embedded SIM card and OTA, the MG Hector promises to do a lot more over time with constantly-expanding capabilities, to create a seamless driving experience, throughout the life of the car.”
Here are some of the technology highlights of MG Hector
The Head Unit:
MG Hector has a 10.4” Head Unit which serves as the brain of the iSMART Next Gen. It is a tablet device with a vertically aligned screen. It can control the entire car system by following the voice or touch commands. It has been designed with the durability to witstand the extreme weather conditions of India. Moreover, it comes loaded with entertainment content and useful apps like Accuweather, real time navigation app by Tomtom, and Gaana (comes with premium account enabled).
M2M SIM and OTA software updates:
For seamless connectivity, MG Hector iSMART Next Gen comes with an embedded M2M sim developed by Unlimit in partnership with Cisco and Airtel. This SIM is Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPV6) ready for 5G.
Thanks to this connectivity, the software and navigation and entertainment content in the car will receive real-time OTA updates. Just like we get Over The Air updates on our smartphones, this internet car by MG will also get regular updates which can be installed at once, or scheduled to be installed later. This OTA feature would be standard in all MG cars enabled with iSMART Next Gen, starting with MG Hector SUV.
As mentioned earlier, the Head Unit of MG Hector understands and follows user’s voice commands. This voice recognition technology is developed by Nuance for MG India. It has been specifically designed for India for Indian accent learning. Combining the built-in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) algorithms, Voice Assist system is capable of learning user’s speech patterns and delivering better recognition over time.
Remote control by iSMART Mobile App:
The iSMART Next Gen can be accessed by the iSMART mobile App. This app helps users to remotely control various operations of the car like switching air conditioning on and off, lock/unlock door etc., geo-fencing the car so that the car cannot be taken out of predefined are. Moreover, the car gets scanned when this app is opened. Users can view on the app important information like the car’s location, tyre pressure, whether doors are locked or unlocked etc. Using this app, people can also schedule car’s servicing and keep track of the service history.
eCall and Pulse Hub:
The eCall is an emergency response system. If the car’s airbags get deployed, automatic emergency messages are sent to pre-defined emergency contacts and the Pulse Hub. Pulse Hub is a customer service centre set up by MG. Besides responding in emergency situations, the Pulse Hub can also assist the user with several information services. Pulse Hub can be accessed with a touch of a button on the Head Unit.
MG Hector internet car will be available for sale in India from June 2019. For more features of MG’s upcoming internet cars, visit: