It's not the journey, it's the snacks you buy along the way
Cars used to get you from A to B. Now, they get you there and back and order lunch along the way.
Korean automakers are scrambling to incorporate services that will allow people in the vehicle to lodge food, drink and product orders at convenience stores and pay for those orders in the car.
As soon as they arrive at the stores, clerks bring the products to their cars.
The industry is calling it the car-pay service.
Renault Samsung Motors teamed up with mobility start-up Owin to introduce the In Car Payment service in its SM6 sedans and XM3 SUVs. After uploading the software to the infotainment systems, drivers can order from nearby convenience stores, restaurants and cafes through Owin app via the car touchscreen.
"The app will tell them the directions to the stores and when they arrive, drivers can summon clerks to bring the products to the car," said a spokesperson for Renault Samsung Motors.
Payments for gas can also be made. Drivers who need to fill their cars can select nearby GS Caltex gas stations and the amount of gas they want. If they register their card information into the Owin app once, they can pay automatically.
The service is available for around 380 GS Caltex gas stations and 1,000 CU convenience stores across the country, and the company said it will expand the number of stores further.
Since last year, Hyundai Motor Group has been offering similar service with Hyundai Card and Hyundai AutoEver. Hyundai's car brands each have different service names: Hyundai CarPay for Hyundai Motor vehicles, Kia Pay for Kia cars and Genesis Carpay for Genesis cars.
The service allows drivers to make payments for gas through touchscreens without having to have a credit or debit card.
For the Genesis GV70, fingerprint verification technology has been adopted. Unlike other models, which require drivers to press six-digit password to process the payment, the GV70 allows drivers to use the service with fingerprint verification.
Hyundai Motor Group’s services are available at SK Energy gas stations around the country that accept the car payment system.
Foreign automakers are also jumping to offer similar services. Porsche teamed up with Australia’s UbiPark to develop a service that allows drivers to pay for parking fees in their cars.
In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) is an industry buzz phrase. It refers to vehicle systems that combine entertainment and information delivery to drivers and passengers. IVI systems offer people various services by using audio and video interfaces, touchscreens, keypads and other devices.
The global IVI market size will grow to $215.3 billion by 2026, according to auto market tracker Allied Market Research.
“As automakers have now been focusing on developing ‘wheeled smartphones’ that offer people various services in their car, the introduction of car pay services is inevitable,” said Kim Pil-soo, an automotive engineering professor at Daelim University. “With untact, or contactless, now an established norm due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many car makers are likely to adopt the car pay systems in order to gain a competitive edge in the market.”
BY IM SU-BIN, SARAH CHEA [firstname.lastname@example.org]