tech2 News StaffAug 18, 2021 14:14:28 IST
MG Motor India is gearing up to launch its fourth SUV in our market – the company today confirmed it will be named the MG Astor – a name derived from Raytheon Sentinel, an airborne battlefield and ground surveillance aircraft formerly operated by the Royal Air Force. Additionally, MG confirmed the Astor will become only the second SUV in the midsize SUV segment to feature advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) after the Mahindra XUV700, and also only the second MG SUV to feature ADAS after the flagship Gloster SUV.
What will definitely grab attention is what’s on the dashboard of the MG Astor. MG has equipped the Astor with a first-of-its-kind artificial intelligence (AI) driven robot, that will act as the driver’s personal assistant. Developed in conjunction with US-based firm Star Design, the in-car assistant (with the help of natural language processing and understanding) understands Hinglish, depicts human-like emotions & voices, swivels to face the user – just like an individual would – and can provide detailed information on any general knowledge topic by tapping into Wikipedia. It can also relay news and navigation updates, critical vehicle warnings and can even crack jokes.
It leverages the i-Smart Hub infotainment system, the base platform on which all the in-car services (both paid and unpaid) are housed. MG has partnered with Reliance Jio for in-car connectivity, and also roped in Park+, which will allow owners to pre-book a parking slot at the destination they’re travelling to, MapMyIndia for navigation, and Koinearth, which will maintain a ‘digital passport’ of the Astor, which promises to result in lower insurance premiums and a higher resale value.
MG says the Astor will have ADAS ‘Level 2’ (developed by Bosch) which will utilise mid-range radars and a multi-purpose camera to enable functions including adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, lane departure warning, lane departure prevention, intelligent headlamp control, rear drive assist and speed assist system. ADAS functions will subsequently be introduced on other MG models as well, the company confirmed.
Speaking about India’s first personal AI assistant and the first-in-segment Autonomous Level 2 car Astor, Mr. Rajeev Chaba, President and MD, MG Motor India, said, “As an auto-tech brand, we’ve always introduced breakthrough technologies and now, we are moving forward with Artificial Intelligence. Astor is a step further and a catalyst for disruption with first-in-the-industry and best-in-class features customers only get in premium/luxury segments. With a relentless pursuit of innovation and software at the heart of the production, our vehicles will continue to provide a smarter and safer driving experience by leveraging AI.”
MG also confirmed the Astor will have a ‘Celestial’ grille, a full-digital instruments display and a dual-tone red-and-black interior theme, one of three interior themes that will be on offer.
The MG Astor is expected to be launched this festive season, and will rival the likes of the Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos.