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Wanna Connect? VW’s Car-Net Connected Services Newly Updated, Widely Standard

Volkswagen's Car-Net

As part of Volkswagen’s 2020 model-year updates, the automaker announced that most of its lineup now comes standard with the Car-Net connected services system. For 2020, that system is also getting an update that VW says delivers more features and a faster app response time.

Related: Volkswagen Ups Tech, Safety Features for 2020

The update includes a revised mobile app, new subscription options and a list of services that are now free for five years. VW has organized the system into four areas: Remote Access, Safe & Secure, Hotspot and Guide & Inform.

With Remote Access, drivers can access a variety of remote functions free for five years. They can start and stop the engine, lock and unlock the doors, honk the horn and flash the lights, and access the last parked location. In addition, drivers can check the remote vehicle status display, which provides information on fuel level, mileage, and door and window status.

In vehicles with Remote Access and factory-installed navigation, drivers can send destinations to their car from the app. (Later this year, VW will roll out an update that allows drivers to connect to a compatible smart home device and send voice commands to their vehicle to check the fuel level or remotely start the engine.) Users are also able to generate vehicle health reports and have them sent to an email address listed in the user’s account, as well as set boundary and speed-limit alerts, handy for monitoring teen drivers. Roadside assistance can also be activated with the push of the wrench button.

Under the Safe & Secure umbrella, drivers can speak to a Car-Net agent for navigation support or emergency assistance. The system is also automatically alerted if there’s a crash and can dispatch emergency personnel. Lastly, the anti-theft alert function sends a push notification to the user if the vehicle’s anti-theft alarm is triggered, and a stolen vehicle location assistance system can help guide law enforcement to the stolen vehicle. Car-Net Safe & Secure is a paid subscription service; it’s $99 a year before taxes and fees, and automatically renews annually at the end of the subscription term, unless canceled.

With Hotspot, up to four devices can access the internet simultaneously at 4G LTE-enabled speed. Existing Verizon customers with an unlimited mobile data plan can add their vehicle as a new line item to their existing plan; non-Verizon customers can set up a prepaid plan for $20 a month before taxes and fees.

The fourth section of the system, Guide & Inform, allows users to access traffic reports, fuel prices, sports scores, movie times and weather data as part of the three-month SiriusXM Travel Link trial. Car-Net enrollment and subscription aren’t required, but a factory-installed navigation system is.

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