For me, as a parent, car safety is so important. Although I don’t personally drive I’m in a car pretty much every day, usually one of my parents or my sisters (despite not driving we’re still a three car family.) When Volkswagen revealed that it was combining the Alexa Voice Service with Car-Net functions back in January, there was plenty of excitement around this as hopefully it’s development would be able to help drivers become safer behind the wheel. Being safe on the road has become a big focus even more recently following a few significant changes in the UK road laws.
In this post the VW dealership Vindis looks at why this is the case:
What Exactly is Volkswagen Car-Net?
Before we get into how Car-Net and the Alexa Voice Service can help make you a safer driver, let’s first understand just what Volkswagen Car-Net is.
At the base of it, Car-Net is a Volkswagen vehicle’s in-car internet connectivity and everything that goes along with that. This includes hi-tech maps to help you get from A to B, streamed road trip music, or even innovative means of monitoring what’s going on between back seat passengers to help you keep an eye on the kids.
The main parts of Volkswagen Car-Net are;
To Guide and Inform
Just because you are in the car doesn’t mean you have to be disconnected from the outside world WITHOUT the means of your mobile phone. The Guide & Inform service of Volkswagen Car-Net works to keep you better informed with the stuff that matters to you whenever you’re driving at the simple push of a button, taking away this inhuman need to scroll through our phones. It includes but is not limited to; news, weather, online traffic updates, fuel information including nearby refilling stations and parking information meaning we no longer have to drive around looking for a parking spot. How handy is that?
Security & Service
You can travel with peace of mind with the Security and Service features included in Car-Net such as the following; emergancy call service, breakdown call service, both of which are incredibly handy especially if you phone battery isn’t up to scratch and finally a vehicle health report so you can check the car is at it’s best before you start driving.
So how does Alexa Voice Service combine with Car-Net?
I’m sure by now everyone is familiar with Alexa Voice service from Amazon, after all it’s splashed all over our TVs. I know some people who have an Echo at home and they adore it. Anyway, to understand how the Alexa Voice Service and Car-Net combination will benefit you, the driver, here’s a scenario you may encountered in the past;
Part way through a journey alone, you suddenly remember something that you need to do once you reach your destination. Obviously, writing when driving is dangerous, and there is nowhere for you to stop to jot down a reminder – and no-one there to write down your task. You decide that the best course of action is to keep the errand in your mind until you stop driving. However, a few distractions are encountered throughout the remainder of your drive and by the time you’ve parked up, you’ve completely forgotten what the task was.
Sound familiar? I don’t even drive and I’ve been there. It’s such a common annoyance and now Alex Voice Service it can be avoided. The driver will be able to schedule appointments, make to do lists and plan their day by verbally informing the system just as you can do with Siri or Alexa.
Car-Net mixed along Alexa Voice Service functions will even be able to be controlled away from your car! While at home you’ll be able to program a voice command such as “Alexa ask Volkswagon the way to the nearest restaurant” and when you get into the car the message will come through with the directions.
How Does This Make You a Safer Driver?
In the last few years the penalties for using a mobile phone behind the wheel have finally become a lot harsher. On March 1st this year the penalty for getting caught was doubled to 6 points on your licence and a £200 fine. If you pick up your phone at all when driving you are at risk of getting caught, even while at a stop sign. Although recent research shows many drivers are still not abiding by the low even with the increased penalties. The stats from this research, reported on by FleetNews, also included the fact that 66 per cent of drivers said they have texted, 37 per cent have checked social media and 18 per cent have made calls when they were stuck in traffic. Figures obtained by the Press Association and reported on by The Independent further highlight the problem. The stats reveal that close to 6,000 drivers have been caught illegally using their mobile phones in the four weeks since March 1st — one motorist every seven minutes. This is so shocking making finding a way around this is vital to keep the roads safe. So in a way advancements in in-car connectivity couldn’t have come at a better time. With this feature you should have no need to use your phone while driving. By continuing to advance with hands-free technology like Alexa Voice Service mixed with Volkswagen Car-Net — it stands to reason that hands-free driving should become even more easier to achieve for everyone.