Hyundai USA announced this week its new Connected Car offer called Bluelink + with the launch of the 2023 Ioniq 6 all electric model. The new Bluelink offer encompasses the former Bluelink packages Connected Care, Remote and Guidance. Those provide Safety, Maintenance, Convenience and Navigation services.
However, the main innovation is that Bluelink + is the only Connected Car service in the market totally complementary for the lifetime of the car or until the 4G-LTE technology is phased out. All other OEMs provide similar services free of charge during a trial period, and then subscription based. Compared to the previous Bluelink offers, Hyundai claims car owner will save over $350 per year.
This means that Hyundai has decided that it should not have its customers paying for the connectivity, and will swallow the connectivity costs (and as the USA has quite expensive wholesale mobile services prices, it is quite a statement).
In view of the gigantic expected growth in connected car data- the Automotive Edge Computing Consortium expects the global connected car data traffic in 2025 to be 1000 larger than the 2020 volumes– cellular connectivity costs will become an ever increasing percentage of the costs of OEMs.
Already back in a 2016 article, we raised the issue that the expected gigantic rise of Connected cars data traffic would need the OEMs to rethink the business model of their car connectivity solutions: the OEMs would need to be in a position to control the cost and the quality of their car connectivity on the long term. Current extrapolation of existing traditional models with MNOs will not bring the cost base and the connectivity features necessary in this future battle. Hyundai and other OEM would expect to generate new revenues from new innovative services based on the connected car data treatment on a BtoB basis, but we still need to see articulated advanced visions.
It should be interesting to look at how competing OEMs will react and whether this new kind of Hyundai USA Bluelink+ offer will become a standard business proposition by OEMs worldwide.
If so, we may expect that Infotainment (high throughput) connectivity services be soon included at limited cost for the users. Then the connectivity cost issue will become paramount for OEMs.
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