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November 29, 2017

Hyundai adds on-demand car washes to its Blue Link service

by John_A

In a world where you can have your McDonald’s delivered and the UPS driver has access to your Amazon-enabled foyer, keeping the family car clean remains a decidedly low tech affair. You’ve got the choice between pulling out the mop and bucket yourself or driving down to the gas station to have a room-sized robotic arm do it instead.

But at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show on Tuesday, Hyundai delivered a third option: The company announced that it’s teaming up with Washos to provide on-demand car cleaning through its Blue Link connected car package. Subscribers will be able to schedule a washing through the Hyundai companion app, whereupon a Washos mobile car wash crew will show up and clean your ride. Not only can you have the exterior scrubbed clean, the service attendant will be able granted temporary authority to remotely unlock the vehicle’s doors so that they can detail the interior as well.

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Car washes are only the start, mind you. Hyundai is partnering with Mountain View-based startup, Smartcar, to expand the Blue Link service into Blue Link All-Access. Hyundai owners will be able to remotely order groceries and gas using a mobile app, then have them delivered directly to their vehicle. Users will even be potentially able to rent out their vehicle for car sharing programs.

“This proof of concept will allow us to understand the benefits, requirements and challenges of linking to third party providers,” Manish Mehrotra, director of digital business planning and connected operations for Hyundai Motor America, said in a statement. “Developing an open Blue Link ecosystem creates a myriad of possible business models for the future.”

Hyundai’s Blue Link package costs $100 a year for current owners. These additional services will be free for the first three years for all 2018 Hyundai models and will launch in Los Angeles before expanding to the Bay Area.

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