MG Motor India on Wednesday unveiled its upcoming mid-sized SUV, Astor equipped with personal artificial intelligence (AI) assistant and level 2 autonomous driving technology.
The company is betting on new auto-tech features and its concept of car-as-a-platform (CAAP) of 'possibilities and services' to differentiate the Astor, which will take on the likes of Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Skoda Kushaq and the VW Taigun, when launched around Diwali.
"The whole thought process of ours was that when you are coming into this competitive segment, we need to do something very differentiated and very differently if we want to be in consumer mindset," MG Motor India President and Managing Director Rajeev Chaba told PTI.
He further said, "Technology and innovation is our foremost pillar and that's how we started our journey in India with Hector, the first connected car." The Astor SUV has a personal AI assistant robot on its dashboard and depicts human-like emotions and voices and can give detailed information on every topic through Wikipedia. It has been designed by American firm 'Star Design', the company said.
Moreover, the AI assistant will engage with people in the car and is powered by i-Smart Hub, a platform on which the partnerships, services, and subscriptions of CAAP will reside that allows customers to personalise their set of services.
MG Motor India said its upcoming Astor SUV will be equipped with Autonomous Level 2, which is powered by mid-range radars and a multi-purpose camera that can realise a series of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS).
These include adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, lane departure warning, lane departure prevention, intelligent headlamp control (IHC), rear drive assist (RDA) and speed assist system amongst others.
These functions can significantly improve driving safety and comfort, and they have been further optimised for Indian traffic conditions, the company said.
Chaba said Astor is a "step further and a catalyst for disruption with first-in-the-industry and best-in-class features that customers only get in premium/luxury segments".
Asked when the Astor SUV will hit the market, he said it will be around Diwali.
The company will relentlessly pursue innovations with software at the heart of the production, Chaba said adding that "our vehicles will continue to provide a smarter and safer driving experience by leveraging AI".
MG Motor India also said it has built an ecosystem of various in-car services, including maps and navigation with MapMyIndia, Jio connectivity and blockchain-protected vehicle digital passport by KoineArth.
Its vehicle owners will also get access to music on the JioSaavn app along with the feature of reserving a parking slot through a head unit powered by Park+ in select cities to begin with, the company added.
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