In January, Volkswagen announced that they would be incorporating their Alexa Voice Service with Car Net functions. Here, VW dealership Vindis discusses how technology and in-car connectivity is changing to keep driver’s safe.
What is the Volkswagen Car-Net?
Car-Net is in control of everything that is connected to the internet found in Volkswagen cars. So, whether it is hi-tech maps to help you get from A to B, streamed music to make every journey a lot more entertaining, or even innovative means of monitoring what’s going on between back seat passengers – this is all covered within Car-Net.
The main parts of Volkswagen Car-Net include:
The world is more connected than ever, and just because you’re inside your car, it doesn’t mean that you can’t be involved with anything else.
The Volkswagen Car Net guide and inform services will help you be better informed whilst driving. Compatible with the German manufacturer’s Discover Navigation infotainment system, features include…
- News — You select the news feeds that interest you and then the latest stories are imported from the customer portal to your Volkswagen as the headlines break.
- Weather — You can receive the latest weather conditions for both your current location and the destination you have in mind (with expected time of arrival also considered). No more needing to listen to what the weather is like on the other side of the country!
- Online traffic information — Just like with the weather, you can keep informed about the current traffic situation, both on the road you’re on and others you’re likely to venture onto.
- Fuel information — It can be worrying seeing the low fuel light flick on when you’re not familiar with an area. Fortunately, the ‘Fuel Info’ search function will let you know of all nearby filling stations, when they are open and how much the fuel prices are.
- Parking information — Wave goodbye to driving around a city looking for what feels like the last available parking spot by using the ‘Parking Info’ feature. It will inform you of all free parking spaces in your vicinity, as well as opening times and prices.
Security features that make your journey safer
The security and service feature can put you at ease when driving. It includes:
- Emergency Call Service — You don’t want to think about a serious incident but with Emergency Call Service, at least rest assured that your vehicle will automatically call for help in a situation where the driver may be unable to.
- Breakdown Call — One press of a button and Volkswagen will make a call for breakdown assistance to the Volkswagen Roadside Assistance service. No need to know where you are, have a phone reception or even memorise a phone number!
- Vehicle Health Report — This presents you with any existing warning messages or service events before you begin driving, avoiding unwanted surprises during a journey.
We have created a scenario that you might have experienced that will show how the Alexa Voice Service and Car Net combination will be beneficial to you:
You’re midway through your journey and you quickly remember something that you need to do. Obviously, writing when driving is dangerous, and there is nowhere for you to stop to jot down a reminder – and no-one there to write down your task. You decide that the best course of action is to keep the errand in your mind until you stop driving. However, a few distractions are encountered throughout the remainder of your drive and by the time you’ve parked up, you’ve completely forgotten what the task was.
This can be avoided by using this system that will help the driver create reminders through the power of their voice – the safest way possible.
The features for the AVS and Car Net will let you control them when you’re distant from the vehicle. For example, you can program a voice command such as “Alexa, ask Volkswagen the way to the nearest flower shop” when you’re at home and then hear the message come through when you’re next behind the wheel.
With UK road rules becoming more specific, voice control and overall car connectivity has improved at just the right time. From March 2017, if you pick up your phone and get caught, you will be charged £200 and get six points on your driving license — double the previous penalty. You are at risk of getting caught anytime you pick up a mobile phone and operate it while driving (that includes waiting in traffic or at traffic lights).
With car connectivity, your hands should always be on the wheel and not on your phone. Recent research has suggested that many drivers are still not abiding by the law, despite the increased penalties.
MyCarNeedsA.com carried out a survey of 1,000 motorists and found out that 20% made calls while driving, 6% checked their social media accounts and that 2% texted – putting themselves and others at risk on the road.
FleetNews found out that 66% of drivers said they have texted, 37% have checked social media and 18% have made calls when they were stuck in traffic.
With the help of the Press Association, The Independent reported more on this issue and further highlighted the problem. The stats reveal that close to 6,000 drivers have been caught illegally using their mobile phones in the four weeks since March 1st — one motorist every seven minutes.
“Driving is a safety-critical activity that requires our full attention. Hands need to be on the wheel and eyes looking out of the windscreen, not down at the phone screen.” Director Steve Gooding of the RAC commented.
Services like the Alexa Voice Service can help make improved driver and passenger safety a reality.