Automotive

VW and BMW put vehicle functionality on your wrist with Apple Watch apps

VW and BMW put vehicle functio...
Apple Watch apps let EV owners access battery charge and other info
Apple Watch apps let EV owners access battery charge and other info
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The VW Car-Net app will help you find your car in a crowded carpark
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The VW Car-Net app will help you find your car in a crowded carpark
The app is compatible with some VW's from 2014, and the 2015 Golf range
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The app is compatible with some VW's from 2014, and the 2015 Golf range
Apple Watch apps let EV owners access battery charge and other info
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Apple Watch apps let EV owners access battery charge and other info
BMW's Apple Watch app works with the i3 and i8
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BMW's Apple Watch app works with the i3 and i8
Owners can set the air conditioning and heating of their car from their watch
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Owners can set the air conditioning and heating of their car from their watch
Early-adopters who often lose their cars in carparks are well served by the Apple Watch app
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Early-adopters who often lose their cars in carparks are well served by the Apple Watch app
If you lose your car in the carpark, the BMW app will help you find it
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If you lose your car in the carpark, the BMW app will help you find it
BMW's app will direct you from your parking spot onto the final destination
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BMW's app will direct you from your parking spot onto the final destination
VW's app allows owners to check battery status
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VW's app allows owners to check battery status
BMW's i Remote app lets i3 and i8 owners track down their vehicles
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BMW's i Remote app lets i3 and i8 owners track down their vehicles

Wearable technology uptake may still be in its early stages, but car manufacturers are already leveraging the technology in an effort to improve the ownership experience for car buyers. Following the Google Glass app from Tesla and hot on the heels of BMW, Volkswagen is offering an Apple Watch app that allows owners to control a raft of car functions, all without ever having to take their phone from their pockets.

The VW Car-Net app allows forgetful owners to check whether they've left their doors, windows or sunroof open, as well as allowing them to remotely lock or unlock the doors. For those that are prone to losing your car in a crowded carpark, the Car-Net app lets owners honk the horn and flash the lights, or even display the location of the vehicle on a map and give walking directions to the door.

VW's app allows owners to check battery status
VW's app allows owners to check battery status

Parents who are afraid of lending the family car to their children might also want to get on board with the Car-Net app, as it can provide notifications about speed, or when the car crosses a certain boundary. And in an attempt to combat range anxiety, early-adopting owners are able to check on their fuel levels or battery charge through the app. Volkswagen's app is compatible with some 2014 model-year Beetle, CC, Eos, Jetta, Passat and Tiguan models, as well as working with the 2015 Golf range.

Although it works in a different way, being able to keep track of what your kids are doing in the car is something that Ford has also tackled with its MyKey system, which can be programmed to limit the stereo's volume or sound an alarm when the car goes over a certain speed.

BMW's i Remote app lets i3 and i8 owners track down their vehicles
BMW's i Remote app lets i3 and i8 owners track down their vehicles

BMW's Apple Watch offering, which was unveiled last month, is very similar to the Volkswagen app. The i Remote app also lets i3 and i8 owners track down their vehicles in car parks by remotely triggering the horn and provides navigation instructions to their final destination after they've parked the car. It also lets them remotely heat or cool the car while it's charging and alerts owners when the battery is fully charged.

Source: Volkswagen, BMW

3 comments
hkmk23
Well, I own V10 Touareg and it is not possible as far as I know to link either an android phone or an iPhone to the cars phone system (Nokia). So good luck trusting your life to an app to control car functions!
Jaxon
Easy on the dramatics! There aren't many scenarios that we'd literally be trusting our lives to an app to control our cars! It seems overdue that two of the cleanest design (along with Volvo) manufactures would collaborate with Apple. A function that would be somewhat useful, if not offered on the key fob itself, is autostart. Useful in the hot and cold climates, it hasn't seemed to make its way into standard or even optional OEM features for some reason. Environmental maybe? Standard feature on my mother-in-law's 5 year old $23k Dodge, but hard to find in general. Once you end up in the deluxe versions of the Passat, it's an option, but not for the rest of the line. Maybe those V10s though.
Kip
Will the Apple Watch be able to let me know when my 2012 VW Tiguan starts leaking oil all over my garage floor again?