10 Things You Can Do With Your Car’s Smartphone App

#hashtags: #Connectivity

Connectivity has continued to rise in importance in vehicles thanks to the need to stay online at all costs. These days, people are never offline. Instead they’re always connected to the Web and working or being “social.” Car manufacturers have embraced people’s need to stay online by giving them multiple ways to keep an eye on their vehicles via a smartphone app or their laptops, so they know exactly what’s going on with their vehicle even if they’re on the other side of the world. Services such as Mercedes-Benz’s mBrace, Audi Connect, Kia’s UVO eServices, Hyundai BlueLink, GM’s OnStar, and BMW Online with BMW Apps make it possible for owners to have limited control of their vehicles wherever they are. Here are 10 things you can do with your vehicle’s smartphone apps. Remote start Just when you thought you could freak people out by starting your car while standing right beside it, you can now do so from anywhere you please thanks to your car’s smartphone app. This gives you the ability to warm up your car before you drive and make the cabin atmosphere cozy for you, as it can also activate the climate controls, cooling or heating the interior based on the outside temperature. Set the climate control In addition to turning on your vehicle, you can also set your climate control via the smartphone app so that you can drive off with the perfect temperature set. In vehicles equipped with multizone climate controls, the smartphone app will also let them set the temperature for their passengers. Lock/unlock your car In a rush and need to get into your car as quickly as possible? Well, not to worry. With the help of your mobile device, you can unlock your vehicle from anywhere. Once you get to your destination you can feel rest assured that you can lock the car later if you forgot in your hurry. Locate your vehicle Should you lose your car in a massive parking lot, your mobile device can help you track it and give you the necessary directions to get there. The first automaker to feature this was Volvo with its Personal Car Communicator, which uses arrows to point you toward your vehicle. The technology has advanced to the point that you can use your car’s smartphone app—some utilize Google Maps for improved guidance—to pinpoint your vehicle’s location and direct you to it. View service diagnostics With infotainment systems giving you all kinds of information, from oil life to tire pressure, it was only a matter of time before vehicle diagnostics ended up in your mobile device. Using your smartphone app, your car can communicate with your mobile device to tell you when you’re due for service and if any issues are present. On plug-in hybrid vehicles, you can also monitor the time until your car is fully charged.   Request roadside assistance Even though you can call for roadside assistance, your car’s smartphone app makes it even easier to access help. Additionally, some manufacturers’ apps give roadside assistance your coordinates. Upload directions to your navigation system One of the most useful features with a smartphone app for your mobile device is the ability to send directions from your phone, tablet, or laptop to your car’s infotainment system so you can get in and go, with the route guidance already ready to take you to your destination. Google Send to Car is the most common way your route guidance is sent from your device(s) to your vehicle. Set curfews, travel zone limitations, and speed limits Are you a parent with a marauding teenager? If you are, this is the perfect feature to ensure your vehicle doesn’t end up kaput when your rebel is behind the wheel. Using your mobile phone, you can set up as many limitations as you’d like. The upcoming 2016 Chevrolet Teen Driver feature enables to you to place limitations on your teenager by registering his/her key fob with the infotainment system and setting everything from a speed limit to how aggressively the active safety aids kick in. Once this is done, you can lock these features in with a passcode so that every time your young one drives, the car will give you a full report. Be a concierge Forget calling a restaurant or a hotel for a reservation. You can now do that with your car’s smartphone app or the infotainment system. This turns your mobile app and your vehicle’s multimedia interface into a concierge, giving you the ability to make appointments and reservations while on the road. Report your vehicle as stolen With roadside assistance becoming widely available, its features are also being expanded, and you can now make a report if your vehicle has been stolen from your mobile device. Smartphone apps for cars from BMW and GM, for example, give you this feature as part of services like OnStar.