Supplying 21st century with once-unobtainable access to a vehicle, a dizzying assortment of smartphone and tablet apps provides the driver with an out-of-car experience. Over the course of the past two years, virtually every automaker is now engaged with a brand-specific mobile application making their automotive products more accessible than ever before. Managing fuel consumption, connecting car breakdown cover companies or customizing a virtual car to the liking of a potential buyer, today’s merger of automotive and computer technology has spawned multiple apps worth highlighting.
Developed as one of the early widespread adopters of vehicle telemetric technology, General Motors launched OnStar on 1997 model year Cadillacs. Becoming a technology that would be credited for saving lives in crashes and recovering vehicles through Stolen Vehicle Tracking, OnStar handed smartphone users their own free app designed to work in conjunction with existing plans.
Working on most Cadillac, Chevrolet, Buick and GMC vehicles equipped with OnStar, their RemoteLink mobile app feeds real-time information including fuel tank contents, oil life and tire pressures. Also available on the OnStar RemoteLink app is the ability to remotely lock or unlock a vehicle from anywhere within phone signal. For Chevrolet Volts, the OnStar RemoteLink app allows the user to monitor battery capacity and dictate electric charging times. A new feature available through the OnStar RemoteLink app relates to navigation. A mobile app use of OnStar RemoteLink can refer a destination to the OnStar center and will receive directions immediately on an in-dash navigation system or through the OnStar Turn-by-Turn service.
Rolls-Royce Ghost App
While even this so-called entry level Rolls-Royce Ghost’s six-figure price tag is beyond the means of many motorists, an Apple app allows practically anyone to bask in the glow of excess glamour. Designed for use on the Apple iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad, the Rolls-Royce Ghost app operates as a sales tool for the lucky of us who can even consider the super-luxury sedan. Providing a photorealistic virtual model of exterior as well as interior surfaces that can be tailored to an assortment of available colours and materials, the magnificence of Royce-Royce’s Ghost sedan is obtainable for all in the app world.
BMW i DriveNow and MyCityWay
A bold undertaking for the Munich, Germany automaker BMW, their radical sub-brand will become an epicenter of innovation. Presenting distinctive electrified vehicles to the marketplace by 2013, BMW i is also involved in spearheading several indirect ventures. The mobile apps DriveNow and MyCityWay fit into the planning for rethinking the way people commute.
Operating only in Munich and Berlin at this time, DriveNow is a vehicle by-demand service that allows users to quickly rent a car. Similar to several drive-sharing services set up in major cities, the BMW i supported business of DriveNow uses the mobile app to direct customers to available BMW and MINI products. Drivers will be billed by the minute for vehicle usage through the service.
MyCityWay is a comprehensive mobile application providing a complete collection of information relating to specific city areas. Merging as many as 50 Apps or more, MyCityWay provides mobile users everything from locating the nearest public restroom to the hippest events in town. Transit, weather and traffic alerts are also part of this extensive mobile app intended to minimize time traveling between destinations. Available for 40 cities at the end of 2011 on continents in Asia, Europe and in the Americas, MyCityWay is preparing for greater expansion in the near future along with the DriveNow service.
Ford Mustang Customizer App
Introduced in mid-September, Ford conceived a fun and interactive way for the tech world’s young citizen to relate to a vehicle that caused such uproars in the mid-1960s. Appearing first as a web-based program for desktop and laptop computers, the Mustang Customizer experience has migrated to the an app available through iPhone and Android supported devices. Providing an assortment of exterior dress-up equipment, 2012 Ford Mustang products (including the Boss 302 edition) can be customized to countless colour and factory available accessories.
Audi Roadside Assistance App
Designed to work with Audi Roadside Assistance coverage packages, the new service app available on Apple iPhones, Android and select Blackberry phones is free for use by covered motorists. Providing expedited breakdown coverage, owners in need of jump-start, fuel delivery or tire repair will have help arrive even in hard to distinguished locations thanks to a phone’s GPS capability. A great companion with Audi’s breakdown insurance plans, the Audi Roadside Assistance App can also allow owners of the luxury brand vehicles find the closest service center.
MyFord Mobile App
Prepared for the upcoming Ford Focus Electric vehicle, the MyFord Mobile App was devised to help future owners navigate with their zero emissions lifestyle. Relaying information pivotal for allowing users to optimize the capacity of the lithium-ion battery pack, MyFord Mobile App provides a driver the ability to calculate routes in relations to the available battery power storage. Recording your recent driving, the MyFord Mobile App allows you to download your vehicle’s data. Users can also share ownership milestones over social media networks Twitter and Facebook. Other basic features presented through MyFord Mobile App also includes door lock/unlock capability as well as GPS location of the Ford Focus Electric vehicle.
Information and photo source: Audi AG, BMW, Ford Motor Company, General Motors