Volvo V40 gets smart with app
TALK TO YOUR CAR: Buyers of Volvo's new V40 hatch (SA from end-2012) can download a smart-phone app to stay in touch with their car from anywhere. Image: LES STEPHENSON
Volvo's launch of the all-new Volvo V40 comes with what is probably a first for a car owner - a smart-phone app that can get in touch with your parked car wherever it might be.
The cars have just had their international launch in Verona, Italy and will be available in South Africa from the end of 2012.
The mobile application is an extension of Volvo On Call, which originally focused on direct access to a call centre in the event of an accident or other emergency. It is free and can be downloaded from application stores to give "an intuitive, easy-to-use relationship with the car from a distance". It includes a number of features:
Car locator. The location of the car is shown on a map. There is also a digital compass that points the driver in the right direction.
Remote door lock. The status of all doors and windows is displayed - and the driver can lock and unlock the car with a push on the touch screen.
Remote heater start. If the car is equipped with a parking heater, it can be started or timer-programmed via the mobile app.
Vehicle dashboard. This feature gives the driver access to a wide range of information: fuel level, remaining range to empty tank, average fuel consumption, average speed, odometer reading and trip meter reading.
Car check. The mobile app performs a "health" check of the car; displaying information about lights, brake fluid level, coolant level, oil level and oil pressure.
Driving journal. Detailed data of each trip during the last 40 days can be downloaded and stored. It is also possible to extract the data as an Excel file - a perfect feature for company car owners.
Vehicle information. Basic car data such as model, registration number and VIN number are stored and can be displayed.
Theft notification. If the car alarm is triggered the driver is alerted via the mobile app.
This upgraded Volvo On Call facility still includes all the safety and security aspects that were part of the first generation.