MG Motor (Morris Garages) has showcased their car technology in India with the launch of the iSMART Next Gen, developed in partnership with global technology players. The MG Hector, which will go on sale in June this year, will come with iSMART Next Gen and will be the first internet car in India. MG Motor says that they have partnered with global tech companies Microsoft, Adobe, Unlimit, SAP, Cisco, Gaana, TomTom and Nuance. The carmaker also unveiled other several industry-first features of Internet-enabled cars that will be available in the MG Hector.
The iSMART Next Gen, which MG Motor calls the 'brain' of the car, will be housed in a 10.4” Head Unit. The screen is designed with a vertical interface that allows the driver to control the entire car system with just a touch or voice command. MG says that the Head Unit has been built to withstand extreme climatic conditions in India. It will also come with pre-loaded with entertainment content.
MG Hector iSMART Next Gen will be embedded with an M2M sim that ensures that the car remains connected. The customized solution has been developed by Unlimit in partnership with Cisco and Airtel who have collaborated with their Jasper platform and telecommunication network respectively. The connected mobility solution on the MG Hector is Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPV6) ready for 5G.
Here's one of the interesting facts, MG customers will be able to download software updates immediately or schedule them for later, as in smartphones. This makes MG the first few among the global leaders and the first in India to bring the revolutionary Over The Air (OTA) technology to cars. The OTA feature would be standard in all MG cars enabled with iSMART Next Gen for connected mobility, starting with MG Hector SUV.
“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,” 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,” Chaba added.
The MG Hector will also come with Voice Assist, a voice application that works on the cloud and head unit. Developed by Nuance for MG India, it has been specifically designed for India for Indian accent learning. As a result of built-in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) algorithms, MG Motor says that the system will learn and get better every day with usage. Activated with ‘Hello MG’, the voice assist allows over 100 commands, including opening and closing of windows and sunroof, ac control, navigation etc. and works under poor connectivity as well.
Furthermore, the MG Hector will also house the world leader TomTom’s real-time navigation application. TomTom has over 600 million vehicles under its platform. This navigation system would regularly update maps, routes and locations through their IQ Maps feature. Other pre-loaded apps include the Gaana app with a premium account and Accuweather. All apps have been specially customized for MG Hector’s large Head Unit.
The iSMART Next Gen is supported by the iSMART mobile App. For starters, the car gets scanned each time the App is opened, and information includes the location of the car, tyre pressure, or if the doors are locked or not. Future owners will be able to use the remote app to directly lock or unlock doors, turn on the ignition and switch on the air-conditioner. It would also allow owners to schedule a service and keep track of service history.
MG with iSMART has also said that they want to ensure that its customers remain protected against advanced threats while enjoying the benefits of technology. MG car owners can locate their cars remotely and geofence it, so the car cannot be taken out of a predefined zone. The App uses driver analytics data to help people drive smarter. The iSMART is hosted on Microsoft Azure Cloud providing impregnable cybersecurity for all data.
If this wasn't enough, MG has also has set up a customer management service centre called the Pulse Hub. This will enable eCall emergency response in all MG cars. If a car’s airbags are deployed under an emergency condition, automatic messages are sent to the Pulse Hub and the registered phones along with a series of emergency response actions that get activated instantly. MG hector also offers a feature called 'iCall'. Owners can activate this with just a touch on the screen, which will then allow the driver to be connected to Pulse Hub.
Keeping true to the 'connected car' value, MG has partnered with Adobe and Cognizant to develop the first ever Adobe Experience Cloud for MG customers. Likewise, SAP with iTelligence has built a Dealer Management System - ‘Magnet’, and connected apps. This system would host all information from company, dealers, service centres and customers at one place.