Hyundai BlueLink: An OnStar Rival and More
By David Thomas
on January 5, 2011
While OnStar announced its service will become available in competing vehicles, Hyundai announced today that it will offer a similar service for its owners, called BlueLink.
BlueLink covers more than just OnStar-like services — unlocking doors, crash assistance, etc. — but those similar offerings are what make this announcement so important.
Hyundai has been a big success story over the past few years, thanks to value-oriented pricing and improving new products. It could probably keep going as-is and still succeed without the need for BlueLink. However, the connected car is the next battleground for new-car buyers, and it’s interesting to see Hyundai step in with such a complete system at this point in time.
BlueLink’s suite of packages — it’s not an all-in-one service — covers not only OnStar-style safety services but also matches Ford’s new MyKey system in keeping track of young drivers, and features such as remote start also fall under the BlueLink umbrella.
BlueLink will be offered first in the Sonata sedan later in 2011 and in the all-new Veloster, which will be officially revealed in Detroit on Monday.
Hyundai hasn’t announced pricing yet, but there will be an introductory period. All the BlueLink packages are listed below with descriptions from the manufacturer.
We’ll have more info and a firsthand report from Detroit on Monday.
Blue Link Assurance Package
- Automatic Crash Notification (ACN) and Assistance: Provides immediate assistance when an accident occurs and an airbag is deployed. In this event, an ACN signal, containing customer and location information, will automatically be transmitted to the response center. Upon receipt of the signal, a response specialist will attempt to establish voice communications with the vehicle occupants and forward any pertinent information to emergency services.
- SOS Emergency Assistance: Customers request emergency 911 assistance by pressing the dedicated SOS button in the vehicle. This action transmits vehicle information and location to trained response specialists, who assist in coordinating the dispatch of appropriate emergency assistance to the customer. The response specialist remains on the line with the customer until assistance has arrived.
- Enhanced Roadside Assistance - Enables customers to contact roadside assistance via a single in-vehicle button-press. Vehicle information (including location) is automatically transmitted to a response center, enabling the specialist to dispatch assistance more quickly and efficiently for vehicle assistance and retrieval.
Blue Link Essentials Package
- Remote Door Lock/Unlock: Enables locking or unlocking vehicle doors via a toll-free number, owner's website or mobile phone application.
- Remote Horn and Lights: Enables activating the horn and/or lights via a toll-free number, owner's website, or mobile phone application.
- Panic Notification: Notifies customers when the panic button on their vehicle key fob has been activated, signifying when a family member or other vehicle occupant may be in danger. Notifications are configured online and occur via email or text message.
- Remote Vehicle Start: Enables customers to start the vehicle via owner's website, toll-free number or mobile phone application.
- Alarm Notification: Notifies customers when and where the vehicle alert is activated via text message, email or an automated phone call.
- Quick Tips: Provides quick reference assistance for primary vehicle feature location and function.
- Location Sharing: Enables sending vehicle location to select friends and members of social networking sites, including Facebook, directly from the vehicle.
- Voice Text Messaging: Enables hands-free text messaging to SMS text recipients, including the ability to initiate text messages, rather than only respond to messages, as with some competitive systems.
Vehicle Self Diagnostics
- Automated Diagnostic Trouble Code Notification: Provides explanation and repair assistance using vehicle data and off-board diagnosis capabilities to better inform the customer of vehicle trouble alerts. A combination of in-vehicle display alerts and guided voice messages provides customers with additional instructions (information also sent to the customer's preferred dealer to assist with the repair process).
- Maintenance Alert: Notifies customers via website, email or SMS message that an upcoming service is due at various thresholds leading up to the event. Configured online, the alerts explain what is included in particular maintenance intervals.
- Recall Advisor: Provides all pertinent recall information should a recall be initiated.
- Web Vehicle Diagnostics: Provides a report of vehicle diagnostics, eco-coach performance and other important information in a monthly email report and web page update, starting 30 days after registering with the BlueLink service.
- Stolen Vehicle Recovery: In the event a customer's vehicle is reported stolen (and a stolen vehicle report has been filed with the appropriate police department), the response center can provide assistance to the police in an attempt to recover the vehicle.
- Stolen Vehicle Slowdown: Used with Stolen Vehicle Recovery, this enables law enforcement to gradually reduce the engine power of the vehicle, thus slowing it down to safe levels. A warning will be transmitted to the driver prior to the slowdown procedure.
- Vehicle Immobilization: Used with Stolen Vehicle Recovery, this enables law enforcement to send a signal to the vehicle that immobilizes the engine management system, thus preventing startup. This capability is only valid when the ignition is off, but the command can be saved by the engine ECU for later immobilization if the vehicle is on or in motion at the time of signal transmission.
- Valet Alert: Enables alert via text message or automated phone message when the customer’s vehicle moves beyond a prescribed region.
- Geofence: Enables monitoring vehicle movement in and out of predefined regions configured on the owner’s website. When the vehicle enters or leaves a designated region, the customer is notified by email, text message or automated phone message.
- Speed Alert: Notifies the customer via email, text message or automated phone message when their vehicle exceeds the specified speed threshold established on the owner's website. High value for parents of teen drivers and fleet customers.
- Curfew Alert: Notifies owners if the vehicle is being used outside a predetermined time interval. Alerts are configured online and sent via text message and/or automated phone message.
Blue Link Guidance Package
- TBT (Turn-by-turn) Navigation Service: Turn-by-turn navigation guidance provided for downloaded points of interest. Both visual and audio guidance is provided.
- POI Web Search by Advanced Voice Recognition System and Download: Enables point-of-interest searches using an automated voice system. Results can be downloaded to the vehicle navigation system. Live operators provide additional support, if needed.
- Daily Route Guidance with Traffic Condition: Enables customers to predefine several routes to a common destination and receive a regularly scheduled traffic alert for traffic delays along those routes. Results include flow and incident data, along with "fastest route" recommendation.
- Traffic: Provides traffic information surrounding the customer's vehicle and in the nearby area, based on preferences established using the owner’s website.
- Gas Station Locations and Gas Prices: Locates gas stations by price, brand or fuel type from the vehicle. Results are played back via automated voice and can be downloaded to the vehicle’s navigation system.
- Eco-Coach: Tracks the customer's driving performance habits (mpg and carbon dioxide emissions) on a continual and historical basis. Results and environmentally responsible driving recommendations are provided on the owner’s website.
- Restaurant Ratings: Provides restaurant ratings for local restaurants with address download for turn-by-turn navigation or onboard navigation.
- Weather: Provides weather forecasts and alerts for the immediate area or for customer-defined locations within the owner website. Alerts also appear during navigation routing.
Managing Editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon. Email David