Morris Garages, an iconic British brand has finally entered the Indian Automotive Market with its SUV, Hector.
Even though the launch of Hector is a couple of months away. MG today did a technology reveal of the car; it is calling as the “First Internet Car of India.”
There is a lot that goes into making a car, an internet car. After all, a stereo system worth just a few thousand rupees can help you stream songs and videos via Bluetooth/USB or even the internet and can offer GPS functionality, smart assistant and a whole host of other functionality. However, the technology inside the Hector goes beyond what even the most advance and expensive aftermarket stereo system can accomplish.
At the heart of the Hector is a 10.4” vertically mounted display. However, that is just the start of a laundry list of features, which makes Hector, an internet car.
- It has an impact collision alert system, which alerts the 24×7-call center (Pulse Hub)and emergency contact via e-call, in case airbags are deployed. The Pulse Hub, in turn, calls the head unit in the car. If it is unreachable or unresponsive, they will attempt to get in touch with the owner or emergency contact, to ensure timely help and response can be provided.
- Hello MG voice assistance can not only change songs/FM station, control volume and launch TomTom-based navigation, it can also control a whole host of vehicle functionalities like the windows, sunroof, climate control etc..
- There is also OBD scanner output onto the display as well as the iSmart App. To help you diagnose issues and keep a track of service schedule and even tyre pressure.
- It will continuously receive Over The Air Updates, in order to ensure you have the latest functionalities, even if it has been a while since you visited the service center.
- All the vehicles will come loaded with Airtel Machine to Machine (M2M) eSIM in order to provide internet connectivity and safety call feature in the car. This would also enable you to control certain functionalities of the car through the internet, even when you are out of Bluetooth range.
- MG Hector owners will be able to lock/unlock their vehicle, remotely switch on climate control, check vehicle status and get security and speed alerts through iSmart App. They will also be able to Geo Fence the vehicle so that in case it is driven out of their pre-specified area, they will be notified.
- MG will also offer TomTom Maps, which update intelligently in the background to minimize data usage.
- iSmart and smart assistant have also been designed keeping in mind patchy internet connectivity in India and can perform basic voice functions, even if they are out of network range.
- Gaana App along with Gaana Premium Subscription would be included in each Hector, though as of now, only 10 songs can be downloaded at once on Hector. However, you can stream unlimited music ad-free through Gaana App.
- Voice recognition system has been designed for the Indian accents.
All the car related data would be stored on Microsoft Azure Cloud, hosted in India.
In fact, there is so much technology involved in making Hector an internet car that it would be best if you watch the entire tech event, which I have recorded and uploaded on YouTube.
MG Motors has partnered with companies like Cisco, Unlimit, Microsoft, Nuance, TomTom, Gaana, AccuWeather, SAP, iTeligence, Adobe, Cognizant and Panasonic, in order to make all this and more possible.
Even though there was no Hector present at today’s event, there were booths where you could try the iSmart system.
Needless to say, it seemed impressive. Even though it failed to recognize some of the voice commands spoken by the MG staff. However, to be fair, this was a preproduction unit and the final product ought to be better.
Overall, I found today’s event to be quite interesting and it is heartening to see MG making so much effort to tailor its products for India. I sincerely hope, Hector turns out to be as good as they claimed it to be because if it does, it will not only light the sales charts on fire, it would also force other manufacturers to step up their game, which is ultimately in our interest.