Korean automaker eyes rivals with cheaper telematics system

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Korean automaker Hyundai rolled out its first in-vehicle telematics system at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Aimed at systems from Ford and General Motors as well as the newly unveiled Toyota Entune system, which also debuted at the CES show, Hyundai's Blue Link system incorporates features such as turn-by-turn navigation, web browsing and remote control.

Using voice activation, drivers can browse the web or send text messages and emails, and the software also borrows some features from General Motors' OnStar, such as the ability to automatically notify a control room in the event of a crash or emergency.

Advanced features, which are available at a higher price, include the ability to remotely unlock and start the vehicle, and even to track speeds remotely - useful if you're loaning your car to your children, for instance.

In a nod to the growth of environmentally aware telematics systems such as Fiat's ecoDrive and Nissan's Carwings navigation system in Japan, Hyundai's Blue Link also includes the "Eco-coach," a system to track a driver's fuel efficiency ability and offer improvement tips along the way.

Blue Link is just one of a plethora of new telematics systems on show at CES, which runs January 6-9 in Las Vegas.

However, it could shake up the market with its subscription structure, which is likely to emulate OnStar's but "at a better price point," a Hyundai spokesman told the Inside Line website.

http://www.hyundai.com

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