We were invited by MG Motors to their MGDriveIn event where they showcased the future of car technology in India with the launch of iSmart Next Gen solution on April 2, 2019. The best brains of the industry have come together to provide a whole new experience in connected mobility. The iSmart Next Gen solution is built in partnership with leading global tech companies, like Microsoft, Adobe, Nuance, Cisco, Unlimit, TomTom, SAP, Gaana, Cognizant, and Panasonic. Several other industry-first features will be available in India’s first internet car, the MG Hector.
The technology residing inside the MG Hector is by far the most futuristic we have seen in the country. With the motive to redefine connected mobility, MG Motors is on track to change the way we interact with our cars. Hence, here are the seven features that help make the MG Hector “a human thing”.
1. A Large Infotainment System At Your Fingertips
The MG Hector sports a large 10.4″ vertical screen, the Head Unit. It houses the brain of the car, iSmart Next Gen, and enables the driver to control the car system with just a touch or voice command. In addition to this, the Head Unit is built and tested to withstand extreme climatic conditions in India. All in all, it is an infotainment system which will be refreshed periodically with OTA updates.
Also, when asked about the onboard storage, we were informed that the system carries 32GB of offline storage. It will allow users to store offline songs, videos, and other entertainment content. As if this wasn’t enough, each user will be getting a premium Gaana account with ad-free music and download capabilities.
2. An Embedded eSIM
MG Hector iSmart Next Gen comes with an embedded Machine to Machine (M2M) eSIM. It ensures that the car is always connected to the internet. The customized solution is developed by Unlimit in partnership with Cisco and Airtel. The latter is the telecom partner for connectivity. The platform is Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPV6) and 5G ready. Also, the eSIM will allow users to perform services like
- Remote tracking
- Automated emergency response
- Up to date maps
- Real-time navigation
- Control via the mobile app
- Over the air updates
Moreover, the MG Hector will be the first 5G ready car in the segment.
3. OTA Updates
One of the several interesting features of MG Hector, is Over The Air (OTA) updates. It will enable users to download software updates as and when they are available or schedule them for later. MG plans to push new themes and look for the screen, new infotainment content, updates for OS and firmware, and updates to maps. Thus, always keeping itself fresh.
The OTA updates will be a standard in all MG cars with iSmart Next Gen in the coming future, starting with the MG Hector SUV. Also, looking at how smartphones have come a long way in the last decade, thanks to frequent updates, the OTA updates present immense exciting possibilities for the car tech.
Additionally, MG Motors will provide data free of cost for the first few years!
4. “Hello MG!”
The iSmart system comes with an inbuilt, AI-based voice assistant. It can be triggered by saying the phrase “Hello MG”. The users can use over a hundred commands to control their car. Some of the commands which were showcased in our demo are – “open sunroof”, “open window”, and “navigate to [place name]”.
Moreover, the voice assistant is built by Nuance to specifically understand the Indian accent. Not only this, but the system also recognises differences in the way each person constructs sentences. Thanks to AI and Machine Learning (ML) algorithms, the system is designed to learn and get better every day with usage.
Additionally, to give the assistant a personal feel, it greets the user with his/her first name. It works under poor connectivity as well.
5. iSmart Mobile App
Imagine controlling the functions of your car sitting in your room! The future is here. For starters, if it is a hot day and your car is parked in the blazing sun while you go grocery shopping, you can turn on the AC from the mobile app and you’ll find the temperature of your car cool when you return. Tada!
On top of that, the car is scanned each time the app is fired, providing useful information like tyre pressure, location, and whether the car is fully locked. The user can perform a series of actions using the iSmart mobile app and some of them are –
- Find my car [Honking/ Lights blinking/ Walk or drive to the car]
- Fuel level and vehicle range
- Lock/Unlock status
- Lock/Unlock the car remotely
- Security alert
- Create travel plan and push it to the vehicle
6. Security Is The Priority
To get personalized services, you’ill be sharing a lot of private data with MG’s servers. Thus, MG focuses on cybersecurity and privacy to protect customers against advanced threats while enjoying the benefits of iSmart technology. The iSmart solution is hosted and stored locally in the Microsoft Azure Cloud DC in India providing impregnable cybersecurity for all data in the internet car.
7. E-Call – An Instant Emergency Response System
Morris Garages has set up an instant emergency response system in the MG Hector. Also, they have set up a management service centre called the Pulse Hub. An e-call will be automatically triggered when the airbags are deployed. Under this emergency situation, a message is transmitted with the exact location to a response team at Pulse Hub.
As a response, the Pulse Hub instantly calls to reach the car’s Head Unit. If no response, it calls the owner’s phone and if it still gets no response, the emergency contact is called. All of this is done within seconds.
Thinking About Buying The Internet Car, MG Hector? Your Experience Should Be Better Than Ever
MG has partnered with SAP to develop the most advanced front-end ERP solution seen in India, ‘Magnet’. The Dealer Management System integrates the dealers, its customers, service centres and the company on one platform with iTelligence which enables a frictionless flow of information. Hence, your MG Hector buying experience should be hassle-free.
The future for connected mobility looks promising. We were amazed by what we saw at the event. Hence, we are very excited about the launch of MG Hector in Q2, are you? Let us know in the comments below which is your favourite iSmart Next Gen feature and why.