On 2nd April 2019, MG Motor unveiled India’s first Internet Car which has futuristic car technology called iSMART Next Gen for connected mobility.
I also attended that launch of MG motor’s new superb internet enabled car – MG Hector, which was developed along with its strong consortium of global tech partners that includes Microsoft, Adobe, Unlimit, SAP, Cisco, Gaana, TomTom and Nuance. The event was conducted at JW Mariott, Aerocity and the atmosphere felt very energetic, what with the large audience completely full of excited people. The stage was set like the inside of MG hector complete with a steering wheel.
Finally the event started and it started with a few statements about fire safety, earth quake proof building and what to do in case of an evacuation. I really liked it, because generally in events at hotels – NONE of this is ever focussed upon! It’s something very important and everyone could do with such information.
Finally, the event started with much glitz and we were shown the endorsement video of the brand ambassador – none other than Benedict Cumberbatch. <3
The brain of the iSMART Next Gen 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. The Head Unit is built to withstand extreme climatic conditions of India. It comes pre-loaded with entertainment content. This was replicated outside the hall at various points for demo of the technology and voice activated features.
After we were explained a few more features, we got to see Benedict Cumberbatch again, giving the voice command to “open sunroof”. I couldn’t stop looking at his blue eyes that perfectly matched the blue MG hector he was sitting in! <3
MG Hector comes with an industry first embedded M2M sim that ensures that the car remains connected. This seamless connectivity enables the users to receive real-time software, entertainment content and application updates. Imagine – connected with a SIM! This is like your car is a smartphone! The mind – it just boggles! 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. Shock and awe, that’s what MG motor has done! Look at Benedict 🙂
The most stunning feature of the MG Hector is Voice Assist. It is a powerful voice application that works on the cloud and head unit. Developed by Nuance for MG India, it has been specifically designed for Indian accent learning. As a result of built in AI and Machine Learning (ML) algorithms, 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 sun roof, ac control, navigation etc. and works even under poor connectivity.
MG iSMART App is feature-rich like none other in the Indian market. The car gets scanned each time the App is opened, and information includes location of car, tyre pressure, or if the doors are locked or not. Owner can use the remote app to directly lock or unlock doors, turn on ignition and switch on the air-conditioner. This is very useful in extreme weather conditions of India. It would also allow owners to schedule a service and keep track of service history.
MG with iSMART ensures that its customers remain protected against advanced threats while enjoying the benefits of technology. MG car owners can locate their cars remotely and geo fence it, so the car cannot be taken out of a predefined zone, thus enhancing the safety of the passengers. The App uses driver analytics data to help people drive smarter.
Here are some of the features the user can carry out using the iSMART app
- Vehicle scanning to check pre-defined parameters
- Fuel level & vehicle range
- Lock/ unlock status
- Lock/ unlock the vehicle remotely
- Remotely switch on the Climate control on a hot day when the car has been standing in the sun
- Find my car [Honking/Lights blinking/walk or drive to car]
- Set geo fencing. Most useful when loved ones are travelling in the car.
- Security alert
- Abnormal tyre pressure notification
- Vehicle Management
- Create travel plan & Push it to vehicle
- iSMART Smart Drive helps users to drive smartly
- Speed Alert
- MG Network information
- Departure Notification
Is this mindblowing or what! Benedict Agrees!
MG has set up a first of its kind 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 get activated instantly.
Likewise, SAP has built one of its kind Dealer Management System – ‘Magnet’, and connected apps. This system would host all information from company, dealers, service centres and customers at one place. This would make sure the customer can seamlessly be recognised and offered services at pre-sales, sales and post sales phases.
MG vehicles were much sought after by many celebrities, including the British Prime Ministers and even the British Royal Family, for their styling, elegance, and spirited performance. The MG Car Club, set up in 1930 at Abingdon, UK, has more than a million loyal fans. MG has evolved into a modern, futuristic and innovative brand over the last 95 years. MG Motor India has commenced its manufacturing operations at its car manufacturing plant at Halol in Gujarat. The first of these modern MG cars – “HECTOR” will be made available to the Indian customers in the second quarter of this year. The second car from MG Motor India in 2020 will be a pure electric vehicle – eZS. The company aims to launch two new cars every year.
And I am super glad to learn that at MG Motor India, women workforce stands at 31% where traditionally automotive sector is a male bastion with only 5-10% women workforce in other Auto Companies.
So here’s waiting for the first MG hector cars to appear in India and I am really looking forward to test driving one!