Car user manuals are usually uninspiring things. A thick collection of pages, half of which may not apply to your specific version of the car, usually relegated to taking up room in the glovebox after the first week. And that’s why Hyundai are offering a new take on the user manual, and it’s entirely digital. It’ll even fit in your pocket, by virtue of it running on your smartphone, with both Android and iOS versions available.
The main aim of this manual is to make it more accessible to the user, with an AR interface making it far easier to find information on a particular part of the car than scouring a manual for a matching picture. At launch, the AR manual will only support the 2015 Hyundai Sonata, though it is intended to be expanded to cover more models soon. The app won’t be a slouch compared to the hefty old paper manual either, featuring interaction with 45 parts of the car, from buttons and dials in the cabin to the sections of the engine bay. And across these parts will be spread 82 how-to videos, six 3D overlay images of parts in the engine bay and over 50 informational guides.
This isn’t Hyundai’s first foray into using mobile apps to enhance the user experience of their vehicles, having been one of the first companies to support Android Auto on the center console infotainment system as well as developing a smartwatch app that allowed supported cars to have a number of their features be used remotely, right from the watch.
This innovation could just be a nail in the coffin of the paper user manual, after all, simply pointing your smart device is more compelling than rifling through your gearbox and flipping pages in this era of technology. Would these innovations make you consider Hyundai for a future car purchase, or are you just hoping that these ideas come to your favored manufacturer? At any rate, it makes you wonder what they’ll come up with next.