Hyundai has announced plans to launch a comprehensive multimedia system in some of its US-spec cars from March this year. Called BlueLink, the system is said to rival, and be similar to, General Motor's OnStar system.
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Using a touch-screen interface, Hyundai's BlueLink system will allow users to access and control a number of platforms using the in-car computer. Users will be able to receive turn-by-turn navigation, voice-texting and even a provision that allows administrative powers to track the car's whereabouts. This is a setup designed to keep teenage drivers within specific bounds (Geofence). The Geofence system simply alerts the rightful owner of the car - if it has been driven out of bounds - via a text message.

The BlueLink system is said to offer around 30 similar features. Others include the ability to start the car remotely and initiate climate controls remotely, instant text-messaging alerts in the event of the car being stolen, and tracking its location.

Interestingly, the BlueLink system will also allow the user to keep a watch on the car's engine and driving characteristics and monitor vehicle health. This vehicle health monitor will alert the driver if certain elements of the car or engine need attention at any given time using Automated Diagnostic Trouble Code Notification, Maintenance Alert and even an up-to-date Recall Advisory system.

A number of emergency features will also be included in the system. Programs such as Automatic Crash Notifcation, whereby in the instance of an accident, and if an airbag has been deployed, the on-board computers will instantly notify emergency authorities what has happened, the owner details and the location. It will even go as far as providing instant communication between the response teams and the crash occupants, automatically, so they can talk to each other live.

The BlueLink system will also provide all usual satellite navigation information and updates, such as traffic conditions, places of interest and locations of petrol stations. On top of this, the BlueLink setup will also provide up-to-date fuel prices and their locations - a very handy feature.

Hyundai's Blue Link system will debut in America on the Hyundai Sonata in March. Reports say it will become available on all Hyundai models by 2013.