Tech Highlight: Car Connected Phone Apps

By Jakob Hansen, 10/28/2019

Our smartphones are capable of amazing feats, now you add controlling our cars to that list. Through the use of a highly intelligent integrated CPU system in every car, we are able to tap into the brain of the car and control any feature from the palm of hands. It really is a brave new world that we live in.

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We love tech, and anything that brings us closer to a Blade Runner reality is okay with us. One of the best new technologies available in cars today is smartphone integration. Now I’m not talking about Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, or one of those radio transmitters your plug into your phone because your car doesn’t have Bluetooth OR an Aux cord. No, I’m talking apps that connect your phone directly to your car’s electronics.

Cars of today have come to be increasingly intelligent. Simple computing technology such as trip computers and advanced radios quickly made their way into cars early in the digital era. Infotainment systems, satellite radio, and connectivity systems like OnStar have kept cars up to date in this constantly changing world. Today, our cars are capable of amazing feats. Wi-Fi hotspots, navigation with live traffic updates, and even ordering food and buying movie tickets! The possibilities are endless once the World Wide Web gets involved.

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So where does that leave us today? Our vehicles have complicated systems that are operated through the car's CPU. Every component of the vehicle is operated through these systems, including radios, infotainment, door locks, climate control, and even the engine management systems. Linking the cars CPU to the integrated connectivity makes it possible to control any of the car's systems from any device. Once the manufacturers created an app to control the vehicle systems, it suddenly became possible to control every system in the car. 

Now it’s obviously not all that simple, there are thousands of lines of code, miles of wire, and connectivity issues that I, as a simple writer, couldn’t even begin to understand. However, when it’s broken down, through the car's connectivity, we can control everything in the car from locking the doors to starting the engine. All from a smart device. This is where the apps come in. 

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The app has the ability to control almost all the functions of the car. Completely integrated into the car's systems, the app can perform actions such as locking or unlocking the doors, starting or stopping the engine, controlling climate control, and even things like checking the oil level or miles on the car. 

The ability to perform almost any function of the vehicle from the palm of your hand is one of the greatest technological advancements in recent automotive history. The real benefit being that the possibilities are endless. With every new technology integrated into our cars, we are able to control more and more from the palm of our hands. The simple ability of scheduling maintenance, checking vehicle diagnostics, and even ordering parts directly from our phone makes for a simple solution to a host of problems.

The apps have many functions. As stated, they can control all electronic functions of the car, including locking and unlocking doors, starting the engine, and controlling climate control. They also have the ability to perform systems checks, such as oil check and engine diagnostics. Even more useful is the ability to call for roadside assistance, or even scheduled maintenance at your local dealer. 

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The large manufacturers are all using their own iteration of a vehicle connected app. Ford, for example, uses FordPass Mobility App. Chevrolet is myChevrolet. Toyota use ToyotaEntune, Honda uses HondaLink. No matter what brand you choose, it is likely there is an app that coincides with your vehicle that is able to control most functions in your car. 

Learning to make use of this app will save you time, and possibly even money, as some manufacturers have reward programs for using the app. It may seem like “just another app to use” on your phone, but these latest technological advancements are making our lives far easier. 

Also, as an added bonus, no more locking your keys in your car! Nice.

Tech Highlight: Car Connected Phone Apps

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