Volkswagen Connect – the DataPlug and smartphone app-based connectivity system which allows drivers to access a wide range of information about their car and their journeys – is now being fitted as standard on all new Volkswagen up! and Polo models.
Launched here in 2017 as a free-of-charge retro-fit service for owners of older Volkswagens (2007 onward) who are keen to add 21st Century connectivity to their cars, and working with the Volkswagen ID personal digital account, the system has already been installed in tens of thousands of cars nationwide.
It offers many of the benefits of Volkswagen’s high end Car-Net system – featured in the likes of Golf, Tiguan and Arteon. Now, up! and Polo owners will, as standard, benefit from the information and connectivity offered by Volkswagen Connect too.
With its DataPlug and the app linked together via Bluetooth, the possibilities created by Volkswagen Connect are in the user’s hands. The car sends the user’s smartphone a burst of information at the end of each journey to reduce the phone’s data consumption. With the connection set up, the customer can interact with their Volkswagen in seven key areas.
The Trips function records information about each journey, including the miles driven. This works with the Fuel Monitor to give an accurate figure for the cost of every journey by comparing fuel consumption with the cost of the fuel in the car.
The DataPlug will also send information to the connected smartphone about the way the car was driven. Known as Driving Style, this can save the customer money by offering fuel-efficiency tips.
A suite of options appears in the My Volkswagen area of the Volkswagen Connect app. The vehicle’s fuel level can be checked, and the customer can see when the car’s next service is likely to be due.
An extension of this is the Service Partner function. When the car is due for a service, it automatically alerts the driver through the app. If set up to do so it will also contact the customer’s nominated Volkswagen Retailer, who will then call to arrange a service. Of course, the customer can opt out of this function. Additionally, if a warning light is illuminated on the dashboard the Volkswagen Connect app will pass this information to the Retailer, who can then call the customer to discuss the problem. The app will also explain in plain English what the warning light means.
If the customer needs more urgent assistance they can use Volkswagen Connect Assistance Call to quickly contact the Volkswagen Customer Service Centre. Or, if they have joined a roadside assistance service, they can have the call routed to the relevant phone number. To smooth the flow of all these conversations, when a call is made the location of the car can also be shared if the customer chooses.
The Parking Space section of the app records the exact location of the car when it is parked, and for how long, thereby potentially helping to reduce stress and save time when the driver wants to return to their vehicle.
Building on the functional elements of the Volkswagen Connect app is the My Challenges feature. This is a fun game that rewards drivers with points, depending on their driving style. They can also accomplish tasks related to safe and efficient driving and win virtual trophies, as well as unlock new tasks and compare their scores with other Volkswagen drivers.
All of these functions are provided without charge, and Volkswagen is developing the Volkswagen Connect app all the time. Customers can also take their DataPlug from compatible Volkswagen to Volkswagen, a benefit that is also of use for fleets where drivers may have access to more than one Volkswagen vehicle.
As well as the new standard-fit appearance in up! and Polo, Volkswagen UK will this year continue to make the DataPlug available to owners of older Volkswagen models through the brand’s extensive Retailer network.
The system will also be offered free with all Das WeltAuto approved used Volkswagen vehicles, while customers will also be offered Volkswagen Connect when they take their vehicle in to a Volkswagen Retailer for routine servicing work.
It is anticipated that as many 300,000 Volkswagen Connect DataPlugs will be distributed and fitted to compatible Volkswagen vehicles this year.
Volkswagen Connect pages have also been added to the ‘owners’ section of Volkswagen.co.uk. To explore, and find out more, please visit: http://www.volkswagen.co.uk/owners/volkswagen-connect or https://www.vwconnect.com/gb/en/