Prior to the Hector's impending launch in the middle of 2019, MG Motor India has given out an elaborate overview of its iSmart system at the DriveIn event in Delhi today.
MG Motor India today gave us a glimpse into what it thinks will be the future of in-car connectivity. As a build-up to the Hector's launch in India, MG decided to pull the wraps off its pièce de résistance – the iSmart connectivity technology, which is the spine of the Hector's plethora of connectivity features.
MG claims that the Hector will be the first 'Internet Car' in India due to the fact that it will come with its own built-in connectivity solution. The iSmart setup features an embedded Machine-to-Machine (M2M) eSIM card, which will be provided by Airtel – MG's connectivity partner in India. The resulting telecom platform will follow the Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) and thus will be 5G-ready. In a nutshell, the Hector's infotainment system will be like a bigger version of a smartphone. MG will also introduce an Over the Air (OTA) updates system in India, through which users will be able to download the latest updates for the car's system, just like updating an app on a smartphone.
If this wasn't enough, the iSmart system in the Hector will use the biggest head unit as its command centre – a 10.4-inch vertically-placed touchscreen, which is pegged to be larger than most tablets available in the market to date. Now, it's obvious that most readers might find this touch-dependence somewhat distracting while driving compared to conventional switches. But MG has worked this kink out by giving the iSmart system a Voice Recognition setup, which has been specifically developed for understanding different local English accents used in India. MG claims that Voice Recognition commands can handle over 100 functions of the car.
MG has tied up with numerous technology partners for integrating multiple pre-loaded apps into the iSmart interface, the most crucial ones among them being TomTom's IQ Maps navigation, music streaming service by Gaana and live weather forecast powered by AccuWeather. The SIM connectivity setup has been developed by MG in association with Cisco Jasper, while the voice recognition software has been designed by Cisco Jasper.
‘The integration of the 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,’ said Rajeev Chaba, President & Managing Director, MG Motor India. ‘Furthermore, with the advent of 5G connectivity in India, MG cars will have the potential to add new, breakthrough features to further enrich the car driving experience,' he added.
Additionally, the MG Hector can also be accessed through the iSmart app, which lets users track the car's real-time stats and also allows features like locking/unlocking of doors and air conditioning to be operated from a distance. While this all sounds very tempting, we are yet to see how these features work in real-life conditions. And for that, we'll have to wait for the car's official launch.