- Hyundai partnered Xevo to bring in-vehicle payment to customers using their car's infotainment screen. The Hyundai Blue Link connected-car technology will soon let drivers find and pay for coffee, gas and parking without having to pull out their smartphone, the carmaker announced in a press release.
- Xevo, a tech developer for the automotive industry, last year introduced its Xevo Market platform to connect on-the-go customers with brands by delivering contextual offers on vehicle touchscreens and carmaker-branded mobile apps. In addition to payments, Xevo's services may be extended to provide restaurant reservations, order-ahead takeout food, curbside pick-up and electric vehicle charging, according to the release.
- Xevo will help create the Hyundai Wallet payment platform to store a customer's credit card or PayPal account information securely. To avoid distracting the driver, some of the features may not be available when the car is in motion.
Hyundai is taking a major step in expanding the mobile functionality of its vehicles as drivers seek greater connectivity while also obeying laws that restrict cell-phone use. The partnership with Xevo signals a significant upgrade to the Hyundai Blue Link connected-car system that's expanding its capabilities to payments and possibly a greater range of services down the line. The challenge for carmakers in general is to provide a greater range of services to help drivers make the most of their time while cruising down the highway or sitting in traffic without distracting them from their primary responsibility of safe driving.
Car companies are taking a variety of approaches to beef up their infotainment systems with additional features to ease drivers' lives, either with their own proprietary platforms or by partnering with established tech companies. Volvo this month partnered with Google to power the carmaker's Sensus infotainment systems to let drivers use Google's Assistant, Play and Maps capabilities. General Motors announced in December it would equip newer cars with commerce tech to let drivers order food, find gas stations or reserve hotel rooms by tapping a touchscreen on their dashboards.
At the same time, this gives brands an opportunity to directly connect with drivers while they're on the road and may want to purchase food or beverages but can't access their phones or physical wallets.