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Auto Show:  2011 Consumer Electronics Show

Hyundai Lauches Blue Link Communication System - 2011 Consumer Electronics Show

January 2011 author photo


January 6, 2011

Ford has SYNC, General Motors has OnStar, now Hyundai has just launched its own voice-activated communications system, called Blue Link. It has more than 30 features available, such as remote locking, crash notification, restaurant ratings and even an “eco-coach” that can help drivers keep their fuel bills down.

Blue Link will be offered in three packages. The most basic is Assurance. This has crash notification and sends a signal to a response center whenever an airbag has deployed. An agent will then try to get through to the driver and notify the emergency services if necessary. An SOS button can contact a 911 operator directly. Roadside assistance may also be summoned just by pressing one button, sending details of the vehicle’s location automatically.

The Essentials package builds on that by adding a remote door lock/unlock capability, via a toll-free number, over the web, or by a smartphone application. Activating the horn and/or lights is done the same way. Panic notification, by email or text message, lets the subscriber know if the key fob’s panic button has been pressed. This is useful if the car is being driven by another family member, for example. Voice-to-text messaging is also available, along with vehicle diagnostics, maintenance alerts, recall advisories, stolen vehicle slowdown and immobilization, and even when the car has gone beyond a pre-programmed boundary (Geo-fence).

The Blue Link Guidance package has the most bells and whistles, with turn-by-turn navigation (in cars without conventional satellite navigation), weather, traffic and gas price updates, downloadable points of interest, and the aforementioned Eco Coach.

The system’s voice recognition allows users to speak with their own vocabulary, rather than learn a set of predetermined directions or phrases. The really clever bit is that if the “silicon ears” cannot quite understand what the user is saying, an agent will be alerted, who can then use his or her human brain to decipher commands and instruct the system accordingly.

Like OnStar, Blue Link is activated using buttons integrated into the rear-view mirror. It will first be available in the 2011 Sonata, followed by the upcoming 2012 Veloster Coupe (to be unveiled at the 2011 Detroit auto show) and then migrate to all Hyundai models over time. No word yet on how much a subscription will cost, but the company has hinted that it will be along the same reasonable lines as the rest of its products. There is more information available on

author photoCOLIN RYAN has driven hundreds of cars thousands of miles while writing for BBC Top Gear magazine, Popular Mechanics, the Los Angeles Times, European Car, Import Tuner and many other publications, websites, TV shows, etc.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Hyundai Lauches Blue Link Communication System - 2011 Consumer Electronics Show - Autotrader