MG Astor could soon bring in dashboard payments feature

  • The Chinese-owned British carmaker announced that the Astor will be displayed in the company’s showrooms from September 19, and bookings will begin shortly.

By Prasid Banerjee, Livemint, New Delhi

PUBLISHED ON SEP 16, 2021 12:18 AM IST

MG Astor may become the first car in India to allow users to make payments right from the vehicle’s dashboard.

The company has been “inundated” with requests from startups who want to be “in the car”, Rajeev Chaba, president and managing director of MG Motors, said in an interview. “We even got requests for payment gateways. I think we will have the first car where you can make a payment right from the car,” he said.

The Chinese-owned British carmaker announced that the Astor will be displayed in the company’s showrooms from September 19, and bookings will begin shortly. MG has not revealed the car’s price yet, but it is expected to take on vehicles such as the Hyundai Creta and others priced in the 10 lakh to 16 lakh range.

MG Astor boasts of advanced technologies such as level 2 autonomous driving, a blockchain-based Digital Passport, and more, unlike most cars in that range.

The company has to work not only with startups but also legacy service firms to create a vehicle-based platform, Chaba explained. “The good news is that even in well established, mainstream and conservative businesses, some of them understand that they also need to evolve because somebody will disrupt their industry and business models,” he said.

Newer organisations such as blockchain technology firm Koinearth, which has built MG’s Digital Passport, are working with legacy firms to transform them digitally, Chaba said. “Some of the established names have come forward, are willing to make the schemes for us, and are ready to change,” he said.

The Digital Passport is a blockchain-based feature that uses data from sensors fitted on Astor to determine the car’s health and its user’s driving prowess. Such data can then be shared with insurers and resellers by the car’s owners to lower premiums or raise resale value.

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