Volkswagen and Apple have come together to offer drivers more control over their car using their iPhone. Now Volkswagen drivers will be able to use Siri to lock and unlock their car, enable alarms and perform more functions remotely.
Now use Siri to lock and unlock your car
Volkswagen announced this deeper Siri integration on Monday. The automaker updated its Car-Net iOS app to add Siri voice control and Siri Shortcuts to allow drivers perform many useful features.
“With Siri Shortcuts, creating voice commands to use with our mobile app was a great opportunity to do just that. Integration with Siri helps our drivers keep eyes on the road and hands on the wheel,” Volkswagen EVP Global CIO Abdallah Shanti said in a press release.
Following the update, the iPads and iPhones running on iOS 12 will be able to use Siri to lock and unlock their car, check the estimated mileage remaining for fuel or charge remaining for electric models. If a driver forgets where they parked their car in a parking lot, they may ask Siri to honk the car’s horn. Drivers will also be able to create Siri Shortcuts with personalized phrases like “defrost the windows,” “set the climate control temperature,” “start or stop charging,” and more.
To learn more about Volkswagen’s Siri integration, users must visit the “Account” screen in the Car-Net App. Siri support and Siri Shortcuts for the Car-Net iOS app are available on select Volkswagen models. Users will also need a paid Car-Net subscription to access Siri support.
Apple and Volkswagen are deepening their ties
With deeper Siri integration, Apple and Volkswagen have made their bond even stronger. Apple’s in-car infotainment software CarPlay is already available on many of Volkswagen’s vehicles. In March, the automaker start offering new car buyers free Apple Music access for six months if they register with the connected car service.
Volkswagen’s Car-Net app is a pretty useful tool as it helps users with several security and service features. The app automatically notifies concerned parties in the event of a crash. It can also help locate stolen vehicles and summon roadside assistance. It also gives users remote vehicle access and status information. The app also helps with diagnostics and maintenance information and scheduling dealer visits when needed. There is even an Apple Watch version of the app.
Even though Siri integration further deepens Apple’s relationship with Volkswagen, Apple is playing catch-up. Volkswagen had already added Amazon Alexa to its cars. Amazon emerged as a new rival to Apple’s CarPlay and Siri. At a recent hardware event, Amazon announced Echo Auto, which will bring Alexa to select cars.
Echo Auto is a threat to Apple
Like the Echo Show, Echo Auto uses an eight-microphone setup. Amazon claims the microphones are good enough to hear voice commands despite typical in-car noises like music. The device uses the phone for an internet connection and features a new real-time operating system. The company claims the OS will boot within seconds of triggering the ignition. Amazon’s Echo Auto is powered by a MicroUSB plug and comes with a dashboard mount.
Additionally, Echo Auto can interface with Apple Maps and Waze for navigation. Drivers can use the integration to find nearby points or get directions. Drivers can also use Echo Auto to play audiobooks via voice command or add items to their shopping list.
Amazon’s Echo Auto is also location-aware, meaning drivers can use it to trigger location-based Alexa Routines. For example, as you park the car in your garage, Alexa can be programmed to turn on your home’s smart lights.
According to Amazon, more than 15 global automakers, including General Motors, Hyundai, and Nissan, have integrated Alexa in their cars. With Alexa’s capabilities, drivers will be able to remotely start their cars, access smart home functions from their cars, manage charging of their EV, and more. Other automakers like BMW, Ford, and Toyota/Lexus are also adding Alexa into their infotainment systems.
Early adopters will get Echo Auto at an introductory price of $25. Later, the device will be priced at $50. Amazon plans to ship the devices some time later this year.