Volvo is jumping on the smartwatch bandwagon. It’s releasing an updated version of its Volvo On Call app that will now be able to sync cars with smartwatches such as the Apple Watch and Android Wear. The automaker joins the growing group of smartwatch groupies that includes Volkswagen, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Hyundai, and Ford.
“Volvo On Call is an app that allows you to literally take control over everyday elements in your Volvo. You can set heater timings for those cold and frosty morning or cool down your car in hot weather, check your fuel level and mileage, or time to next service. It even helps you locate your car in a crowded parking garage,” explains David Holecek, Director of Connected Products and Services at Volvo Cars.
The updated version is based off the new infotainment system in the new XC90 and will also likely offer hybrid plug-in drivers the ability to check, stop, start, and schedule charging like competitor systems.
Volvo’s On Call app has already been available to drivers on their smart phones. The big deal now though is it offers more now and is available on the wrist. All drivers need is a 2012 or newer Volvo equipped with On Call, and of course, a smartwatch.
The new app is available for download now, but there’s no need to rush as Volvo will release an updated version soon. It will add a unique feature that will be able to connect to cars navigation systems so that drivers can send an address directly to their car from their smartwatch or smartphone before getting inside. What’s nice about this is that it saves the hassle of writing down an address and then entering it into the GPS system later.
The original Volvo On Call was launched in 2001 and was the first telematic car system of its kind. Volvo says it pioneered features that it still offers today including connecting drivers to On Call operators for accident and roadside assistance and offered a theft alert and GPS tracking system.
“In only a few years we have moved from a safety and security related in-car feature to a solution that allows the driver to stay connected with their car and provides many new benefits to support their everyday requirements,” says Sofia Wessman, Manager Volvo On Call.
Oh, by the way, that new update we mentioned earlier will be released in June.