In-Car Tech

Next-gen Volkswagen Car-Net gets new app integration, no-charge services

The Volkswagen Car-Net system is getting significant upgrades for the 2020 model year.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Easy-to-use infotainment operating systems with mobile capability are becoming standard for automakers in North America. Now, with the debut of their next-generation Car-Net system, Volkswagen, the world's second-largest automaker, is making the leap to the modern digital age.

New Mobile App

Car-Net Remote Access will give owners the ability to control some functionality of their vehicle via a mobile app. The app can control a vehicle's remote start and stop ability (where properly equipped), remotely lock and unlock doors, honk and flash the lights of the vehicle, show the last parked location, and give the owner a view of their fuel level, mileage, and door and window status. It is free to use for five years from the date of vehicle purchase.

Volkswagen Car-Net Remote Access The new Car-Net app allows owners to remotely access their vehicle.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

The app's parking information feature is powered by Parkopedia, which helps users locate off-street parking information. Users can press the "P" icon on their screen and the app will show them available parking locations near their chosen point of interest. That information can then be pushed to the car's navigation system, located in the head unit.

Vehicle Health Reports are automatically generated monthly and are sent to a driver's email address. When service is required, Car-Net can notify the customer and allows them to schedule a dealer visit.

Volkswagen's Family Guardian software sends an alert the vehicle owner when the vehicle travels over a pre-determined maximum speed limit and outside of a designated boundary zone. It also alerts when the vehicle is driven outside of a curfew timeframe and when it travels more than two-tenths of a mile outside a valet drop-off location.

Volkswagen Car-Net Remote Access The new Car-Net app can help drivers find their car if they've misplaced it in a parking lot.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Roadside Call Assist can be activated by touching the wrench icon in the app.

New for 2020, the DriveView program allows enrollees to become eligible for a discount from their insurance company, should the company support the driver monitoring program. Based on typical drive behaviors, the app gives the driver a score, which can then be passed on to their insurance company.

Car-Net Remote is offered on most 2020 model year vehicles.

Car-Net Safe & Secure

Volkswagen's Car-Net Safe & Secure is a paid subscription service that features information and emergency assistance, crash notification, anti-theft alert, and stolen vehicle location assistance in the same manner that OnStar does. The service costs $99 annually and renews automatically at the end of each year's subscription term unless cancelled.

Volkswagen Car-Net Hotspot A Wi-Fi hot spot is available in most model year 2020 vehicles.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Car-Net Hotspot

The branded Car-Net Hotspot service is a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot that allows users to connect up to four devices simultaneously. It runs on the Verizon Wireless network and customers who use Verizon as their wireless provider can add their mobile data plan to their existing plan as another line. Non-Verizon customers can opt for a pre-paid plan that costs just $20 per month plus associated taxes and fees, however the rate may not be available in all states.

Car-Net Guide & Inform

Volkswagen's navigation system, which provides enhanced infotainment functionality, is called Car-Net Guide & Inform. Using the factory-installed system, owners can 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 is not required.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

Hyundai is launching three new Ioniq-branded electric vehicles in the next four years.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor Group

First there was Genesis, the luxury brand name that came from the popular car. Now, there will be Ioniq, the fourth vehicle brand for Hyundai Motor Group will include three new electric vehicles (EVs) over the next four years. Up until this point, the Ioniq name was used by the Hyundai Ioniq, the first auto in the world to be offered in hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and all-electric variants.

"The IONIQ brand will change the paradigm of EV customer experience," said Wonhong Cho, Executive Vice President and Global Chief Marketing Officer at Hyundai Motor Company. "With a new emphasis on connected living, we will offer electrified experiences integral to an eco-friendly lifestyle."

The Ioniq name is a portmonteau of "ion" and "unique".

London Eye Q Ioniq launch To celebrate the announcement, Hyundai lit up the London Eye as a Q.Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor Group

With the new models, Hyundai looks to combine its current electric vehicle capabilities, which include ultra-fast charging, spacious interior, and battery-supplied power, with forthcoming innovations for the in-car and out-of-car experience - something the company says will be a "seamless journey".

The brand rollout of part of Hyundai Motor Group's larger EV rollout, which has the goal of selling 1 million units of battery electric vehicles and taking a 10 percent share to become a leader in the global EV field by 2025.

The three new vehicles that will be coming will all have numeral names: Ioniq 5, Ioniq 6, and Ioniq 7. Sedans will have even numbers and SUVs will have odd numbers.

The Ioniq five will launch first, in early 2021. It will be a midsize crossover based on the EV 45 concept, which was unveiled at the International Motor Show 2019 in Frankfurt. When that concept debuted, Hyundai said that, like the company's Le Fil Rouge concept, the 45 was a modern interpretation of the Hyundai Pony Concept, only this time it was focused on powertrain technology. Its diamond silhouette foreshadowed the design direction of future electric vehicles the company will produce while holding fast to the "Sensuous Sportiness" design identity.

Hyundai concept cars Ioniq EV The first three Ioniq models will be based on three concept cars the company has already introduced.Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor Group

The Ioniq 6 sedan is set to be introduced in 2022. It is based on the company's Prophecy concept vehicle, which was unveiled in March. That concept car's design gave a nod to the large car models of the 1920s and 30s but brought forward digital technology of today.

Ioinq 7, a large SUV, will follow in 2024.

The company says that the new vehicle designs will all "have a common theme of 'timeless value'" and be "inspired by past models.

They will all sit on the company's Electric Global Modular Platform, known as E-GMP. The platform's design allows for a "smart living space" complete with highly adjustable seats, wireless connectivity, and unique features - the company says that a glovebox deigned as a drawer is an example of one such innovation.

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The Cadillac Lyriq is the first all-electric SUV debuted by General Motors.

Photo courtesy of Cadillac

The 2023 Cadillac Lyriq is the first all-electric SUV by Cadillac and the first electric SUV General Motors has debuted for the U.S. market. It debuts with two rows of seating, over 300 miles of range, and a fresh face for the brand.

"Led by Lyriq, Cadillac will redefine American luxury over the next decade with a new portfolio of transformative EVs," said Steve Carlisle, executive vice president and president, GM North America. "We will deliver experiences that engage the senses, anticipate desires and enable our customers to go on extraordinary journeys."

2023 Cadillac Lyriq The Lyriq's rear illumination is part of a larger synced choreography of lights.Photo courtesy of Cadillac

Cadillac says that the Lyriq name originated from the term “IQ" meaning intelligence quotient, which gives the appearance that something is smart as well Cadillac's long history of being named in music. Their marketing team says that no other vehicle brand name is mentioned more.

The body is rather status quo for a two-row SUV in shape, but not style. Up front, the grille is completely unlike anything else on the market. It has depth and width. A newfangled lighting design illuminates to form a smile when the driver approaches the car. A new take on the Cadillac shield illuminates first then the LEDs flow outward to the headlamps and all the way around to the rear

The Lyriq is equally as unique out back where it looks like it took a bit of design inspiration from the Chevrolet Malibu Max, but with a high-energy, Cadillac design language infusion.

GM showed the model with a two-tone paint scheme - black roof and white body.

Cadillac will build the Lyriq on its next-generation flexible architecture, which was designed specifically for electrified vehicles. The Ultium battery system delivers approximately 100 kilowatt-hours of power thanks to its nickel-cobalt-manganese-aluminum chemistry. The battery is seated underneath the body of the vehicle, lying flat under the floor of the SUV.

2023 Cadillac Lyriq

Photo courtesy of Cadillac

Users can charge the vehicle using Level 1, Level 2 (up to 19 kilowatts), and DC Fast chargers. GM hasn't disclosed how long the Lyriq will take to charge.

Cadillac will offer the model with rear-wheel drive and performance all-wheel drive - buyer's choice.

GM has designed the car to have 50-50 weight distribution and the location of the battery, along with the design of the new architecture allow for the car to deliver a rigid ride experience, making it less susceptible to passing on the road's imperfections to the model's passengers.

The Lyriq will come with Super Cruise, the General Motors hands-free driving system that allows for 200,000 miles of hands-free highway driving and automated lane change.

Additional technologies include a dual-pane augmented reality-enhanced head-up display and remote self-parking. The dual-pane system displays traditional speed information up close then, further in the distance overlays for directions and important warnings are displayed. Supervised remote parking uses ultrasonic sensors to help the Lyriq park itself in parallel or perpendicular parking spaces — whether the driver is inside or outside of the vehicle.

2023 Cadillac Lyriq It appears that the two-row SUV has only four seats.Photo courtesy of Cadillac

Cadillac says that the Lyriq will offer “a new interpretation of passenger space". From photos it looks like the model is a four-passenger SUV with a large open space in the second row between two captains chairs.

A 33-inch advanced LED joint driver information center and infotainment display takes center stage on the interior. This is similar to the 38-inch version that is in the 2021 Cadillac Escalade. This new display has the highest pixel density available in the automotive industry today and can display over one billion colors, 64 times more than any other vehicle in the automotive industry, providing a stunning in-vehicle experience unlike anything seen before from Cadillac.

The driver's information side of the screen displays safety technology information on it including nighttime animal detection courtesy of camera functionality that brightens up the looks of your surroundings compared to what the human eye sees.

The SUV sports a 19-speaker AKG audio system with the ability for the driver to adjust the sound mode (front and rear) depending on their preference between stereo or surround acoustics.

2023 Cadillac Lyriq Cadillac has given the Lyriq plenty of piano black touch surfaces.Photo courtesy of Cadillac

Cadillac is employing noise cancelling technology for the first time in the Lyriq. Other automakers have offered similar technology for years.

There's a few other features that GM didn't highlight at the Lyriq's reveal, but showcased in a recent video including automatic climate control, navigation, audio, phone call (likely Bluetooth), and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot. It looks like the SUV's screen has pinch-to-zoom functionality. Further, there are doors with a unique inner inlays and a power-adjustable (at least) eight-way driver's seat.

Don't fret. There's plenty of time for Cadillac to reveal even more details. The SUV doesn't go into production for another few years.

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