After a short fling with OnStar that broke up in 2005, Volkswagen buyers have missed the magic satellite’s capability to unlock their cars or dial 911 immediately after a crash. Now that Hyundai offers its own telematics system (known as Blue Link), VW’s eye in the sky is back under a completely new name.
VW Car-Net delivers all the usual features we’ve come to expect from such systems, with several buttons on the overhead console that put you in contact with a call center any hour of the day—whether you’re looking for the closest place to get a cheeseburger or to report an actual emergency. A dedicated web site and iPhone app are also available for other features.
Among the main services:
- Automatic Crash Notification: When the system detects an accident (airbag deployment or a rollover), a call automatically connects vehicle occupants to a VW Car-Net customer specialist. Information about the vehicle and its location are transmitted to the VW Car-Net Response Center. Appropriate emergency services can then be dispatched to the vehicle’s location.
- Roadside Assistance: The car’s location and vehicle identification number (VIN) are sent to the call center, either by pressing a button or loading the app (Android phones will be supported later).
- Agent Destination Assist: General Motors allows owners to download directions from OnStar even on vehicles without a navigation system, but VW requires your vehicle to be equipped with the optional navigation system for this feature to work.
- Stolen Vehicle Assistance: In the same way that the Mercedes mbrace2 system tracked the Boston Marathon bombers in a stolen Benz, VW’s system will perform the same function when police contact the Car-Net system. However, Car-Net can’t slow the car or disable the engine as with OnStar and Hyundai Blue Link.
- Last Parked Location: Sometimes parking garages can feel like entrapment; we’d have liked to use this app the last time we parked at Boston’s Logan Airport.
- Remote Vehicle Status: The odometer, fuel gauge, and estimated range all can be displayed on the app. The app also can tell you if the doors, hood, trunk, sunroof or convertible top are open or closed, though only the doors can be unlocked remotely (and not locked as in other systems). Car-Net also offers text alerts when the car exceeds a preset speed limit or if it travels outside a certain area.
After a six-month free trial, Car-Net costs $17.99 per month or $199 for one year. Two-year ($378) and three-year ($540) contracts save some money in the long run and are competitive with other automakers. Only one subscription bundle is offered.
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The service is standard on all 2014 Beetle, Eos, and CC models. On the 2014 Passat, Jetta, and Tiguan, Car-Net comes on every model except the base trims. It’s unavailable …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at Car & Driver