VW will use Siri as the designated driver for its connected car party

Volkswagen of America has juiced up the VW Car-Net mobile app with enhanced Apple Siri capabilities, the company announced.

Car-Net allows drivers to run mobile apps via Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and MirrorLink, VW’s infotainment system. Now drivers who use Apple smartphones running iOS 12 can use voice commands to have Siri help control their VW-Net-connected cars.

For example, saying “Hey Siri, lock my car,” does just that. Siri can check the estimated remaining range for the car based on the fuel amount or battery charge level, and can turn on the car’s flashers.

Owners can also personalize Siri interactions. The interface allows preferred phrases for climate control, defrosting, start/stop for charging, and vehicle location, such as, “Hey Siri, where’s my ride?”

Volkswagen added the Siri voice command feature to Car-Net for both driver safety and convenience.

“We are constantly looking at innovative ways to make VW Car-Net more convenient and relevant for our customers,” said Abdallah Shanti, VW’s global chief information officer. “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’s Car-Net focuses on three areas: App-Connect, Security and Service, and Guide and Inform. The new Siri functions fall under the App-Connect feature suite.

Car-Net’s Security and Service uses Verizon Connect to provide automatic crash notification, manual emergency calling, roadside assistance, and stolen vehicle location assistance. New VWs include a six-month trial subscription to Verizon Connect.

Other Security and Service features let drivers check their cars via smartphone or online apps. With an active Verizon Connect account, drivers can check remotely and in some cases control door locks, horn and light flashes, last parked location, and window and door status.

The Security and Service Family Guardian feature combines vehicle speed and time tracking and geo-fencing. Family Guardian sends messages to whoever controls the app speed alerts, boundary alerts, curfew alerts, and valet alerts.

Last, the feature-rich Security and Service system can perform vehicle diagnostics and alert customers to service needs and even make appointments at a VW dealer.

Car-Net’s Guide and Inform service uses SiriusXM satellite radio to assist drivers while traveling. A three-month trial included with new cars provides real-time traffic data, fuel price searches, and weather reports, as well as sports scores and local movie theater screening times.

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