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BYD G5 connects owners with smartphones


BYD launched its first internet connected compact sedan, the G5 in Beijing on Tuesday, Sep 16.

Powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine, the sedan comes with a built-in eight-inch tablet computer. The new G5, is the Chinese automakers first car with connectivity technologies.

"We used internet thinking all the way in the engineering and designing process," said Hou Yan, BYD Sales Co general manager. "We provide car owners with an Android tablet computer instead of a customized system, and it's free."

This built-in tablet computer, dubbed CarPad, offers in-car WiFi, mobile wireless connections, and an app that functions as a key for the car.

One of BYD's software partners, Tencent's QQ Music has created a specialized "integrated QQ music app" for the G5.

"The integrated QQ music app will find music and songs suitable for the driver to listen to while on-the road," said Du Dashuang, QQ Music Terminal Cooperation director. "Our engineers will keep working to improve the in-car experience."

On top of a special QQ music app, BYD claims that the non-removable CarPad is the first built-in Android tablet that can freely download and install apps as well as surf the internet.

At the launch event, Hou explained that generally, car makers will restrict in-car systems to only use authorized applications from cooperating companies. However, G5 owners may use any app, regardless of the app company.

Hou said that BYD also built a new "innovative" air freshener system into the G5. The car can detect and measure air quality levels inside and out and display P.M. 2.5 levels.

With its connectivity technology, the BYD G5 is able to take instructions from a smartphone through the BYD Bluetooth key app. BYD claims that it is even safer than an ordinary key as the Bluetooth key enables only one smartphone as a key and requires a user generated pass code to unlock the vehicle.

Should a family member or a friend need the car, the car owner can authorize them through the smartphone. They won't need to borrow the physical key, they can use their own smartphones instead.

The new sedan employs a powertrain with a 1.5TI direct injection turbocharged engine. Potential buyers can choose between a six-speed automated manual transmission or a manual transmission

The BYD G5 has a manufacturer suggested retail price starting at 75,900 yuan ($12,360) for the manual version, and tops at 102,900 yuan for the auto-manual transmission version.



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