Automotive smartphone integration is often a one-way street. Modern car buyers want to access their apps, music, navigation, and calling functions straight from their infotainment screen, and here in 2015, they can do so pretty easily. But if you want to go in reverse and monitor vehicle info from your phone, you’ll find that the market is slightly less accommodating.
Skoda, a quirky Czech brand with an awesome name, has just announced a product called SmartGate that allows you to reverse the flow of information between your ride and the supercomputer you carry around in your pocket. It uses a small plug that connects to your vehicle’s computer, and after that, utilizes WiFi to act as a middleman between your car and your Apple or Android device.
Once the connection has been made, tons of apps become available, including the Drive App, which displays average speed, fuel efficiency, gas savings, route statistics, and various eco tips in real time. The Service App helps diagnose mechanical issues as well, and the G-Meter App measures g-force, acceleration, engine revs, shift points, and the like for those with a flair for the dramatic. There are even gaming and engine sound simulation apps available, and SmartGate can analyze, store, and share all the info it displays on the Cloud.
SmartGate is currently available as a dealer-installed option across the entire Skoda range, which includes the Fabia, Octavia, Rapid, Rapid Spaceback, Yeti and Superb models. As some of you may know, Skoda fits under the Volkswagen Group umbrella as well, which also houses the Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini, Porsche, and Seat nameplates. Does that mean we could see a feature like this on a Lamborghini Huracan or an Audi R8 one day? We sure hope so.
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