Volkswagen to Launch 2nd-Gen Car-Net Connected-Car Services for MY2020

VW is updating its connected car architecture to provide additional features, setting the stage for services such as car sharing.

Volkswagen’s new Car-Net connected car environment is built on an IoT platform for easy extensibility and integration of future services, including peer-to-peer car sharing. (VW)

The second generation of Volkswagen’s Car-Net connected car services for North America is set to launch for MY 2020. Built on a new Internet of Things (IoT) platform, the new system features quicker response times, and the architecture should improve the ability to add additional services such as car sharing. The system will arrive as standard on most trims with service notably included for five years.

The new Car-Net mobile app from VW has a clean interface and is full of the most expected functions for a connected-car interface. (VW)

The upgrades are part of the jump from Car-Net’s 1st-gen 3G backbone (which launched in 2014) to the new 4G setup, but VW made no mention of 5G capability. The associated smartphone app will provide expected features such remote start and lock/unlock, with in-vehicle package delivery from retailers such as Amazon as part of upcoming services. Nav-equipped vehicles can have destinations sent via the app, and VW has integrated Parkopedia features to ease parking stress. Siri and Alexa voice-control will be part of the system’s functionality, along with in-vehicle Wi-Fi access for up to four devices.

The new Car-Net setup for MY2020 Volkswagen models in North America provides an available 4G Wi-Fi access for up to four devices, with a simplified process to add the vehicle to an existing data plan. (VW)

Frank Weith, director of connected services for Volkswagen’s team based in Auburn Hills, Michigan, noted that the whole drive behind the new system and upgrades was “to build a product that’s more engaging and easier to use.” According to Weith, the new IoT architecture will permit an extensibility that will help bring approved third-party applications into the environment. Weith noted that services such as car-sharing have been engineered into the new architecture, and we should expect more Car-Net news on that front.

Volkswagen is hoping that its second-gen Car-Net ecosystem can become a useful part of its owners’ lifestyle, which should improve customer retention. (VW)

Also Arriving with Car-Net 2.0 is an available DriveView program. The system monitors metrics such as excess speed, hard braking and night driving, which are used to generate an overall driving score that can be viewed in the app. Owners can also choose to opt-in to a program that shares this data with insurance companies in order to qualify for discounted rates. An additional $99/year Safe & Secure paid subscription service includes benefits such as info/emergency assist, automatic crash notification and stolen-vehicle assistance.