Auto Electronics

Under the hood of the Hyundai Veracruz

When Hyundai introduced the premium crossover Veracruz in 2007, it priced the base vehicle with a 3.8-liter V6 engine, automatic transmission and four-wheel drive more than $11,000 lower than the Lexus RX350. Selling vehicles at affordable prices and yet with features that customers require takes a little creativity. While Hyundai currently does not offer built-in telematics for vehicles in North America, an agreement with Garmin International allows the company to install a telematics system through its nationwide dealer network.

Hyundai selected Garmin's award-winning nüvi 360 personal navigation device (https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=134&pID=6291) to add telematics capability to its vehicles. The customized Hyundai-branded nüvi has a Hyundai start-up screen and database of Hyundai dealerships and service centers across the nation. According to Frank Ferrara, executive vice president, Parts, for Hyundai Motor America, “Providing a customized navigation solution through our dealer network makes incorporating this technology into a Hyundai vehicle more practical and convenient for our owners.”

TELEMATICS TOOLS

The 360 personal travel assistant includes GPS navigation, Bluetooth wireless technology, an MP3 player, audio book player, language translator and travel guide capability, currency converter, world travel clock and more.

The unit's touchscreen display provides three-dimensional automatic routing. Turn-by-turn voice-prompted directions speak street names for locations in the United States, Canada or Puerto Rico. By adding an optional FM traffic message channel (TMC) traffic receiver and traffic services, users can access real-time information and avoid traffic jams.

The Bluetooth feature and an integrated microphone and speaker allow hands-free calling after entering phone numbers through the nüvi's touchscreen keypad (for supported phones). Users may look up and dial numbers either from their personalized phone book or from the phone's call history log that shows calls received, calls dialed and calls missed. The location of hotels, restaurants and attractions can be found in the unit's points-of-interest database and then dialed.

In addition to easily mounting in any Hyundai vehicle, the portable unit can be removed and used for pedestrian navigation as well. A rechargeable lithium-ion battery powers usage outside of the vehicle. The nüvi incorporates Garmin Lock, a theft deterrent that requires the user to enter a specific four-digit PIN or alternatively takes the unit to a predetermined secure location code.

TELEMATICS TRANSITION

In Korea, Hyundai offers customers a communication terminal with a built-in GPS connected to various electronic devices in the car. An advanced telematics service, called Mozen, is integrated into the vehicle (http://worldwide.hyundai-motor.com/common/html/innovation/vehicle_telematics.html).

With Hyundai Mobis and Hyundai Telematics units under the corporate umbrella, Hyundai engineers could have factory-installed telematics offerings in North America. The Hyundai Mobis plant in Montgomery, Ala. already supplies Hyundai Motor's nearby plant with modules and other parts for Sonatas.

Built-in telematics for higher-end vehicles will begin in 2008. When it is introduced in the second half of the 2008 model year, the Genesis premium sports sedan (http://www.hyundainews.com/Media_Kits/Concept_Cars/GENESIS/Press_Release.asp) will have the availability of navigation system with a backup camera.

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