07.05.2024 Story

How connectivity is revolutionising the automotive industry

Imagine a future where traffic jams are a thing of the past. A future where car accidents can be avoided before they occur. One where you can always find parking or a station to charge the battery of your electric car. This is the sort of future that connected cars promise.

But what exactly is a “connected car”? A connected car is more than just a vehicle; it is the intersection of software and hardware. Connected vehicles are a part of the Internet of Things (IoT), and because they share real-time data with the world around them, they can guarantee safer, more convenient, and more personalised travel.

Studies show: No mobility without connectivity

In a study on connectivity conducted by SIGMA Sensor Europe 2023, the insights revealed a shifting customer landscape. From 2020 to 2023, the proportion of customers willing to pay a premium for connectivity features rose from 6.10 to 7.44 per cent. In 2023 alone, more than a quarter of respondents said that they were ‘very interested’ in connected car topics, with more than a third being ‘quite interested’.

The study painted a picture of someone interested in connected mobility: Men and younger demographics exhibited greater interest in the topic. Moreover, interest positively correlated with education and income levels, indicating a broader trend toward adopting connectivity among more affluent and educated customers.

With connectivity gaining traction, consumer expectations are getting higher. How can companies adapt to this industry disruption?

The connectivity revolution

Equipped with sensors and cameras, connected cars generate enormous amounts of data – regarding driving patterns, road conditions, traffic updates, vehicle performance, and environmental circumstances, among other things. However, the true magic of connected vehicles lies not just in their ability to gather data but in their capacity to transform our very idea of mobility.

In the past, cars just used to be the means from getting from point A to point B. Today, the automotive landscape is undergoing a profound transformation, with connectivity emerging as the driving force behind innovation and evolution. Automakers, tech companies, and other stakeholders can analyse the data that connected cars collect to draw valuable insights into developing new products and services.

Safer motorways with cameras, sensors, and Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) communication

At the heart of this revolution lie the silent heroes of modern driving – advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). These systems harness data gathered from cameras, sensors, and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication to prioritise your comfort and safety on the road. Without connectivity, ADAS features like adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance, emergency automatic braking, and blind-spot monitoring wouldn’t exist.

Furthermore, the impact of connectivity isn’t limited to individual drivers; connected cars are making motorways safer for all users. For example, with the exchange of real-time data about road conditions, traffic, and potential hazards, connected vehicles can better reduce traffic congestion, prevent accidents, and enhance overall safety on the road.

Additionally, autonomous vehicles rely on constant communication with other cars, traffic signals, pedestrians and other road users, and infrastructure to navigate safely and make real-time decisions. Connectivity enables the exchange of sensor data, mapping information, and situational awareness between driverless cars and their surroundings. Self-driving vehicle technology wouldn’t be feasible without connectivity.

Hyundai Smart Sense, the company’s suite of ADAS features including a couple of semi-autonomous systems, offer customers peace of mind while travelling.

In this age of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and interconnected vehicles, data is the lifeblood that fuels innovation and safety on the road. However, the proliferation of data also underscores the critical importance of data security. Safeguarding sensitive information gathered from cameras, sensors, and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication is paramount to ensuring the trust and integrity of these technologies.

Enabling electrified lifestyles with connectivity

Both aiming to make your trip safer and most efficient, car connectivity and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technologies are closely intertwined. Under the umbrella of V2X is a range of communication technologies that enable vehicles to communicate with other vehicles – as previously mentioned, with the grid (vehicle-to-grid, V2G), and with electronic devices (vehicle-to-load, V2L), among others.

V2L is a nifty feature that enhances the versatility of electric cars beyond transportation. The technology allows electric cars to discharge power from their batteries to charge and power external devices or systems. For example, your smartphone, an electric grill, or even another electric car. Just imagine a power bank on four wheels.

V2G takes V2L to the next level by allowing bidirectional power flow between electric cars and the electrical grid. In this context, electric cars can also feed excess energy back to the grid when needed. In the Netherlands, initiatives like V1G (Vehicle-to-Grid) and companies like Jedlix are also playing significant roles in advancing car connectivity and V2X technologies. For instance, Jedlix, a Dutch company, specializes in smart charging solutions, leveraging V2G technology to optimize electric vehicle charging based on factors like grid demand and renewable energy availability.

For customer convenience, Hyundai’s entire line-up of battery-electric vehicles features V2L technology. Meanwhile, the Dutch city of Utrecht is aiming to develop the world’s first bidirectional region. Here, Hyundai is leading a carsharing project with local mobility operator We Drive Solar. This mobility service powered by V2G allows the district of Cartesius to rent from a fleet of electric vehicles for short periods, rather than owning them outright.

Furthermore, Hyundai has initiated several bidirectional charging projects over the years.

In the context of connected car technology, V2X play a crucial role in enabling smart, efficient, and sustainable mobility. The technology allows vehicles to interact with one another and the broader energy ecosystem, creating opportunities for optimisation.

Peak convenience: everything at the touch of a finger

Connectivity is an essential part of our daily lives. We are so used to everything being connected, that we sometimes don’t even realise how much it is shaping society. Take your smartphone, for example – practically an extension of you. With it, you can download apps, you can update it without having to plug it in, and you have access to seemingly endless entertainment options and tools. The list goes on. Now, imagine if your car did the same.

Just like their smartphones, customers want the latest and most advanced features in their cars – from infotainment systems to remote diagnostics via smartphone integration. Luckily, one of the most remarkable aspects of connectivity is its ability to put full control of your car in the palm of your hand. With connected vehicles, remote control becomes a reality, allowing drivers to access keyless entry and locking, start and stop the motor, adjust cabin climate settings, and even locate their car using GPS. All this and more from the convenience of a smartphone app or web portal.

Hyundai allows drivers to stay connected to their cars with Bluelink®, the company’s connected car system. The system offers a whole range of services, including remote start, keyless entry, vehicle diagnostics, and navigation to make your journey safer, more convenient, and more enjoyable. You can access these services on the Bluelink® smartphone app or your Hyundai’s touchscreen display.

But the impact of connectivity extends far beyond controlling your car remotely; it has also transformed in-car entertainment. Today’s vehicles are equipped with sophisticated infotainment platforms, offering everything from navigation and music streaming to internet browsing, voice assistants, and smartphone integration. And thanks to connectivity, it’s all delivered in real-time.

In Hyundai’s more recent models, you have access to Over-the-Air (OTA) updates and Features-on-Demand (FODs). Similar to updates to your smartphone, OTA updates allow for software updates to be delivered and installed on a car wirelessly – without a trip to the dealer. This way, various software systems can be updated to improve functionality, performance, and security. And like apps, you can purchase FODs and enable specific features or upgrades for your car – even after it leaves the lot.

In addition, Hyundai's latest models boast state-of-the-art AI-powered voice recognition technology, seamlessly integrating with OTA updates and FODs to enhance the overall driving experience.

From car ownership to car usership

As customer priorities shift, connectivity is facilitating the transition from traditional car ownership to car usership models. Instead of purchasing a car, customers are opting for alternative options, including ride-hailing, carsharing, and car subscriptions These Vehicle-as-a-Service (VaaS) models leverage connectivity to match drivers with passengers, manage vehicle fleets, and provide seamless user experiences through mobile apps and digital platforms.

Attuned to customer preferences, Hyundai is also operating VaaS models. The company offers its car subscription service Mocean Subscription in Spain and the U.K. with plans for expansion across Europe. For a monthly fee, Mocean Subscription provides customers with a flexible alternative to car ownership or leasing models through its fully digital process, bundling various services such as maintenance, insurance, and roadside assistance.

As connectivity continues to advance within the automotive industry, the demand for agility in meeting customer needs and adapting to mobility trends becomes increasingly vital. Recognising this shift, Hyundai has launched Hyundai Connected Mobility, aimed at transitioning from vehicle ownership to software-centric, data-driven customer experiences. Through this initiative, Hyundai seeks to capitalise on emerging business opportunities in mobility, connectivity, and data services across Europe, ensuring the company remains at the forefront of innovation and customer-centric solutions in the evolving automotive landscape.


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