Is the jingling of car keys about to be replaced by the sound of your voice giving instructions to your Apple Watch? Given that the integration of wearable technology with automobiles is a huge trend in both industries, technology will more than likely play a larger role in vehicle operation in the next decade.
Naturally, app-makers have eagerly gravitated towards developing programs for the Apple Watch. It doesn’t take an industry expert to understand the persistence of this trend: vehicle makers from BMW to Volkswagen have developed Apple Watch apps that allow drivers to streamline and simplify vehicle operation with remote diagnostics and control. Because who wouldn’t want to reenact “Knight Rider” and remote start a car by talking into your Apple Watch?
BMW is consistently at the forefront of luxury vehicle design, which is why we include the BMW 740LI in our Fleet of vehicles. Their latest innovations is the BMW iRemote app, available on smartphones and Apple Watches for owners of the BMW i-Series Hybrid.
With a few taps on their smartphone or wearable tech, BMW drivers can perform remote functions like opening their car doors—no keys required—and preconditioning the cabin climate by setting the vehicle interior to the perfect temperature prior to departure. They can also check important details like mileage and fuel levels.
One of the most novel features of the iRemote app is its integration with the i-Series’ capabilities as a hybrid. Apple Watch wearers can use the app to check battery power levels, find the nearest charging stations and even program their vehicle to charge only when electricity costs are lowest.
Hyundai Blue Link
The Hyundai Blue Link app was first introduced in the 2012 Sonata, and has since expanded. 2015 will see Hyundai’s Genesis, Sonata and Azera models equipped with Blue Link technology, which is currently compatible with smartphones, laptops, desktops and tablets. Recently, Hyundai announced that it will expand its integration with wearable tech (the app already works with Android Wear) and introduce Apple Watch support to its existing car control system.
Blue Link is primarily designed for everyday convenience, and covers a wide range of vehicle functions. Soon, Hyundai owners who wear Apple Watch will be able to use the app to find their car, automatically schedule service appointments, activate their horn, lock and unlock the car, start the vehicle, flash their lights, remotely stop the vehicle and call for roadside assistance. Even more conveniently, the app is voice-activated.
The Automatic app is proof that integrating mobile technology with in-car telematics isn’t restricted to the luxury market or even to particular manufacturers. Nothing proves that the remote vehicle control is soon to be a democratized technology more than this after-market solution, which has been gaining traction since its introduction.
Owners of compatible vehicles can fit their car with a device provided by Automatic (inexpensive at only $99). Once installed, the device allows users to remotely diagnose engine trouble and identify poor driving habits in need of improvement, among other functions. Automatic can also detect accidents and call for help.
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