Volvo has developed an Apple Watch app that will let users remotely control certain functions of their cars, according to a Wired article by Jordan Golson. The app is scheduled for release toward the end of June.
It’s basically an extension of Volvo’s On Call system, which was intended to provide drivers with location and safety services in emergency situations. Among the functions the app will facilitate are vehicle ignition and climate control. It will also let users remotely retrieve information about the car’s fuel levels and its location.
Is it going to dramatically change a driver’s relationship with their car? No. But it’s another step toward the smart car concept that could one day see all kinds of vehicular functions controlled via mobile devices, voice command, and other non-traditional interfaces. Hyundai recently unveiled a very similar app of its own, and Nuance Communications has lately been promoting its Dragon Drive voice command system for connected cars. As these kinds of systems continue to advance technologically and become more widespread in the automotive industry, we’ll see more comprehensive touchless user interface systems between drivers and their cars, which should make the driving experience easier, more intuitive, and safer.