2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 Track: Telematics And Infotainment

Blue Link Services, Explored

Hyundai Blue Link is a suite of safety assurance, driver nannies, and social technologies that are either good for added peace of mind or general amusement. It operates via CDMA-based cellular networks to connect to central servers, which tell the system what to do. If you're not within range of a cellular tower, you're out of luck. Using the suite's services requires the car to call Blue Link, a process that comes complete with a dial tone and ringing sounds.

Accessing Blue Link

Hyundai took a page out of GM’s playbook for implementing the Blue Link controls, which are also located on the rear-view mirror. The Gentex-supplied mirror includes three Blue Link-specific buttons for standard services, enhanced navigation, and SOS emergency assistance, enabling instant access to Blue Link’s services.

The mirror also features auto-dimming, a compass, and three programmable buttons for your garage or other home automation equipment.

Blue Link Subscription Tiers

Hyundai offers three subscription tiers, ranging from basic emergency service coverage to the complete Guidance package. The other two packages include an entry-level Assurance tier and a mid-range collection of features called Essentials. Annual pricing is $79, $179, and $279. As you might expect, each successively more expensive package includes all of the features from the bundle below it.

Assurance

Blue Link's emergency services are probably the biggest selling point for the telematics system. They give drivers an added sense of security that, if something happens, help will be reachable. The Assurance package includes SOS emergency contact, automatic collision notification, and enhanced roadside assistance. There’s also a monthly vehicle report that lets you know when your car is due for service, or if any faults or check engine lights require attention.

We didn't test the emergency services; falsifying something like that didn't seem particularly responsible. Instead, we're assuming the telematics features just work, since they've been available in one form or another for more than a decade.

Essentials

Stepping up to the Essentials tier adds a little more fun. This package includes support for the Blue Link mobile app for iOS and Android devices. Paying extra for the $179-a-year service introduces niceties like remote start (obviously this only applies to models with an automatic transmission), remote door lock/unlock, remote horn and lights, driving nannies, vehicle theft recovery, and social features.

The driving nannies are particularly interesting, incorporating much of what Ford’s MyKey introduced. You're able to program certain limits to specific key fobs, though the monitoring is more passive. A MyHyundai website controls the available parameters, offering a geo-fence, speed alert, and curfew function. If the vehicle leaves a certain location, or enters a not-so-good area, you'll get a notification, for example. The speed and curfew alerts allow for a maximum speed or recognize certain operating hours, again, sending out notifications if they're violated. Blue Link can email you, text you, or call you. We went for the text option, and were quickly bombarded with messages when we passed 70 MPH and left the 15-mile radius of our configured home base. It was amusing at first, but became pretty annoying after a while.

Blue Link also incorporates comprehensive vehicle theft services, including stolen vehicle recovery, slowdown, and immobilization. Each feature is supposed to help law enforcement find your car. Conceivably, they can also be used to let Big Brother keep an eye on you. Nevertheless, stolen vehicle recovery consists of your basic GPS-location service that tells the police where your car is, if it still has a GPS signal. Law enforcement can then use the slowdown feature. As its name implies, this lets Hyundai slow the vehicle down via remotely via Blue Link, if it's moving. Finally, vehicle immobilization can shut the car off completely once it's no longer moving.

The social additions to the Essentials package are very novel, and include voice text messaging and location sharing. Frankly, voice text messaging is a very primitive feature, particularly when there are already infotainment systems able to send text messages using your phone's Bluetooth connection. In comparison, Blue Link voice text messaging involves a call to Blue Link services, where you're able to send a message to a preset group of friends. You have to add these contacts through the MyHyundai site.

Location sharing is another forgettable feature. It lets you share your location via text or Facebook. We used this one to tell our friends where we were during our time with the car. It might have been funny to us, but our friends found the extra information bothersome. You have to love honest buddies.

Guidance

Our 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe came with integrated navigation using SiriusXM traffic and programmed points of interest. As a result, it was unable to take advantage of the Guidance package, rendering us unable to formally evaluate its functionality. However, the Blue Link Guidance feature is entirely automated. It only requires the help of an agent if you're having trouble with the system.

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24 comments
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  • shahrooz
    waiting for the Crysis guy
    9
  • Nintendo Maniac 64
    I thought at first the car in the thumbnail was a Tesla Model S... I mean, it IS essentially a computer (runs Linux on dual Tegra 3s and all).

    Now THAT'S something Tom's should review. :P
    0
  • assasin32
    My stereo which is primitive by comparison has a far faster "boot up" time than any of these "infotainment" systems these cars have. It starts when I turn on the car there is mabey a 1sec delay and another 1sec if I decide to put in a cd as it has to start spinning it.

    And if you want the fancy features I still think an AUX connection from the stereo to the phone is the best bet. If its a smartphone you have the internet/mp3/pandora/gps and if you want an OBD2 scanner like Torque in case your car breaks down. And people usually upgrade these things once every few years and there will be no compatability issues using an AUX connection.
    -2
  • stellato12
    .....but can it play Crysis?
    -4
  • cknobman
    Waiting for an STI version of the Subaru BRX or TRD version of the Scion FR-S. From most reviews I have read the Hyundai handles like a pig on the track and those Brembo brakes have issues after a few laps.
    0
  • tuanies
    665346 said:
    I thought at first the car in the thumbnail was a Tesla Model S... I mean, it IS essentially a computer (runs Linux on dual Tegra 3s and all). Now THAT'S something Tom's should review. :P


    We're trying to get one in for a week but considering how well they're selling it'll be a while.


    173725 said:
    My stereo which is primitive by comparison has a far faster "boot up" time than any of these "infotainment" systems these cars have. It starts when I turn on the car there is mabey a 1sec delay and another 1sec if I decide to put in a cd as it has to start spinning it. And if you want the fancy features I still think an AUX connection from the stereo to the phone is the best bet. If its a smartphone you have the internet/mp3/pandora/gps and if you want an OBD2 scanner like Torque in case your car breaks down. And people usually upgrade these things once every few years and there will be no compatability issues using an AUX connection.


    They still have aux inputs. However, I have an article idea that'll appeal to smartphone users such as yourself - just waiting for the Windows Phone 8 launch to commence ;) I'm open to any ideas you want to see covered though.

    634690 said:
    .....but can it play Crysis?


    No but if you want to port Angry Birds or Duke Nukem 3D to QNX and find a way to get them loaded onto the infotainment system, go for it :p

    59464 said:
    Waiting for an STI version of the Subaru BRX or TRD version of the Scion FR-S. From most reviews I have read the Hyundai handles like a pig on the track and those Brembo brakes have issues after a few laps.


    You and i both. The Hyundai is a fun daily, but that extra weight doesn't help it around a track.
    2
  • Anonymous
    What is this on Tom's again....?
    -1
  • travish82
    348 horsepower and 295 foot-pounds of torque... WTF? I feel like I've been living under a rock. I guess this is what happens when you only buy used cars with cash. Suddenly Hyundias are freaking fast.
    1
  • xsamitt
    I come here for Commuters not cars.This site has really lost it.
    -4
  • xsamitt
    Make that computers lol.
    -3
  • tuanies
    111351 said:
    Make that computers lol.


    We still have the same computer / tech coverage as before, but with cars becoming so technologically advanced with the equivalent of a smartphone built in, the two paths are crossing.
    2
  • xsamitt
    I get that I do but i am just about done with coming here...No offense intended.
    It's like Elvis leaving the building and thinking he's still here kinda deal.
    -5
  • danwat1234
    Nintendo Maniac 64I thought at first the car in the thumbnail was a Tesla Model S... I mean, it IS essentially a computer (runs Linux on dual Tegra 3s and all).Now THAT'S something Tom's should review.

    Tegra 3s, is that for infotainment or does it run the drivetrain and safety systems too? I guess I'll do some Googling

    EDIT: Looks like it is just the infotainment and instrument cluster (http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13746_7-57458212-48/nvidia-touts-its-place-in-the-tesla-model-s/). Curious what computers control the rest of the car.
    0
  • tuanies
    137290 said:
    Tegra 3s, is that for infotainment or does it run the drivetrain and safety systems too? I guess I'll do some Googling


    I believe the entire system is based on Tegra 3, or at least T3 powers the gauges as well. Interesting tidbit I learned from NVIDIA - the Tesla Model S was designed with Tegra 2, but thanks to NVIDIA's VCM module, they just swapped it for T3 when it launched without having to make too many changes.
    2
  • billyboy999
    cknobmanWaiting for an STI version of the Subaru BRX or TRD version of the Scion FR-S. From most reviews I have read the Hyundai handles like a pig on the track and those Brembo brakes have issues after a few laps.

    It's not as bad as they say. A dude in a Genesis kept up with my STi and my friends' M3 and Evo X on the track. Then again he could have been a better driver and made up the difference in performance.
    0
  • Anonymous
    Hmm, Tom's Hardware doing a review on automobile technology...interesting
    0
  • ahnilated
    Hmm... now we are reviewing cars? The computer environment must really be slowing down.
    -2
  • XZaapryca
    assasin32My stereo which is primitive by comparison has a far faster "boot up" time than any of these "infotainment" systems these cars have. It starts when I turn on the car there is mabey a 1sec delay and another 1sec if I decide to put in a cd as it has to start spinning it.And if you want the fancy features I still think an AUX connection from the stereo to the phone is the best bet. If its a smartphone you have the internet/mp3/pandora/gps and if you want an OBD2 scanner like Torque in case your car breaks down. And people usually upgrade these things once every few years and there will be no compatability issues using an AUX connection.
    Makes it hard to use steering wheel controls. Fiddling with your phone while driving is pretty bad. I know a guy who thinks he good at it. He's not.
    1
  • danwat1234
    It's kind of funny how it takes a while to boot up the infotainment system. Looking at the benchmarks it seems slow and I can't help but point out that the processors used are probably $30 or less in cost (Smart phone/Tablet ARM chips) and so they could jump to a better processor for more performance without too much of a price hike. That or make the software better take advantage of all cores while booting up and ensure that the onboard SSD isn't a big bottleneck.

    OR, I don't know, suspend to flash or sleep (keep LPDDR active)? Why does the infotainment system have to boot up every time the car is on?
    0
  • tuanies
    137290 said:
    It's kind of funny how it takes a while to boot up the infotainment system. Looking at the benchmarks it seems slow and I can't help but point out that the processors used are probably $30 or less in cost (Smart phone/Tablet ARM chips) and so they could jump to a better processor for more performance without too much of a price hike. That or make the software better take advantage of all cores while booting up and ensure that the onboard SSD isn't a big bottleneck. OR, I don't know, suspend to flash or sleep (keep LPDDR active)? Why does the infotainment system have to boot up every time the car is on?


    Most of the cars have a preboot procedure they go through when the proximity key is detection / the driver opens the door, which doesn't make the boot-up time too noticeable. They can't go to sleep due to battery life concerns. Even at the minimal amounts of power, the system would still drain power from the battery and the car companies have to think about long-time parking.

    As for the hardware equation, automotive technology is about 5-years behind. The companies have to plan and source all the components during the development cycle, which is typically 5 years prior to the vehicle release, hence why it can't always have the latest and greatest.
    0