Wall Street Journal:
Hyundai Motor Co. is hoping to further raise its appeal to tech-savvy customers with a new app that allows owners to interact with their vehicles remotely through Google Glass and potentially other wearable devices.
Among the features being launched with Hyundai’s all-new 2015 Genesis, owners will be able to use their wearable device to remotely start a car’s engine, unlock and even to locate the vehicle, according to the South Korean carmaker. Hyundai will start selling the Genesis to U.S. customers this spring.
Meanwhile, push notifications through the wearable device will alert drivers when maintenance is needed and allow quick service scheduling, the company said.
“Wearables are a great way to extend the experience outside of the vehicle by leveraging these small screens to quickly access remote features and deliver timely vehicle information,” said Barry Ratzlaff an executive director at Hyundai Motor America.
Just how the new app functions was showcased this week just ahead of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Hyundai said. The new software follows other mobile apps already on offer by Hyundai for driver-car interaction.
While the CES has traditionally been the stage of electronics giants, the show is expected to embrace a broader pool of industry topics this year with an increasing number of auto names crashing the event this year. Analysts say that the roles of automakers and electronics firms may become blurred going forward, especially if electric cars play a more central role in the auto industry.
Samsung Electronics Co. has filed a number of patent applications in the U.S. and South Korea that cover technology that could be adopted in electric vehicles, though the company has denied any interest to enter the car market.
Hyundai’s move to jazz up its flagship sedan, the Genesis, with a suite of technology and connectivity features comes as it struggles to improve its weak image in the global market for premium cars. To boost sales, the company has sold the Genesis luxury sedan at a discount to many of its Japanese and European rivals.
The price for the existing Genesis sedan starts at $35,200 in the U.S., according to the company. The Lexus ES350 starts at $36,470 and the BMW 5 series starts at $49,500. Pricing details have yet to be disclosed for the 2015 Genesis.
The new Genesis also faces a crowd of competitors in the market for larger, luxury sedans in the U.S., a segment where sales growth has been flat in 2013. Additionally, Hyundai’s Genesis will also compete against its ultraluxury sister, the Hyundai Equus, which looks similar to the Genesis but is equipped with more luxury features and starts at $61,000.
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Hyundai taps Google Glass compatibility to boost sales