Volkswagen Connect: The car goes online

Volkswagen Connect
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M should Allow yourself some fun with friends or family. At a joint dinner or a birthday party. If you steer the conversation to the topic of 'connected cars', you get some far-off future scenarios drawn from fully digitized cities. But the networked car is by no means a theory, as is the mass operation of autonomously driving personal transport boxes.

As it is with other technical developments, starting with the Internet via the mobile phone and later the smartphone and with it As was and is the case with ever faster mobile communications standards, the move to the connected car does not come off with a big go-ahead. But step by step.

Connected cars are already there today

Even today, more cars are connected than some of their drivers or users believe. A BMW has a permanently installed SIM card on board. This means that real-time traffic data can be called up for navigation and the call center of a concierge service can be called, which, if requested, reserves a table with the Italian and sends the address of the restaurant directly to the car's navigation system.

Simultaneously, the car's mobile phone access is also used for the regular transmission of various data. For example, a BMW sends the number of electric seat adjustments to the manufacturer or the service organization. A lot can be learned about the car's usage profile, in this case the frequent change of drivers. The triggering of the belt tensioner or the activation of the stability program is recorded and transmitted. In a guarantee or goodwill case, the customer could therefore refuse any claims based on his driving style.

The manufacturer also seems to want and be able to use other, less obvious, information. The last destinations in the navigation device, or the last phone contacts used. BMW is just an exemplary example here, other manufacturers also hang their cars on the digital leash not only for obvious customer benefit.

In late summer, VW will bring the revised Passat onto the market, which will always be online. Older models, also from group brands, from year of construction 2008 can do this with a small plug that can now be bought at a VW dealer for 39.50 euros. It is included as standard in the new city crossover T-Cross.

With this data plug, as soon as it has been plugged into the OBD interface (on-board diagnosis) of the car, a connection to theEstablish the Volkswagen Connect smartphone app. In the app, the owner or user of the car can then display and manage various statistics.

Advantages for employees

The distance, duration and speed of the last trips are recorded and also the amount of fuel that was filled. This data can be exported and used for billing with the employer, for example when using a private car for business purposes.

Before a service appointment, all relevant data for the workshop, including the chassis number and initial registration of the car, can be read out . In the event of a breakdown, the tow truck can be directed to the location of the vehicle.

This position determination is also a big plus point that Volkswagen Connect collects from drivers. Not only in a strange city, but at home too, you can lose track of where you have parked. Especially when you don't have a fixed parking space in the city center, but have to do many laps of honor after work to look for a parking space.

Find out which of the many parallel and cross streets the car is in the next morning in the Connect app. The location can then be used directly in Google Maps or other navigation software as a destination to be guided to the car. This always succeeds in a self-experiment without any problems and accurate to the meter.

In a second step, offers from the financial services subsidiary of VW are to be integrated into the app. Then, if the car is rented out or used in a private car sharing scheme, an additional driver could be insured for one day, and the amount could be debited directly to the customer's credit card. Even a visit to a racetrack that is not covered by regular policies can be registered and insured for a short time.

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