Auto Tech

Chevy app adds Vehicle Locate function and geofence alerts for your phone

The function can make it easier to keep tabs on your car and your family.

Parents can use the function to get text message alerts about their teen driver's journeys.

Chevrolet

Chevrolet's latest update for its connected-car phone app, myChevrolet, is designed to help you keep track of not only your vehicle, but also family members. The Vehicle Locate function allows for seeing the car's current location on a map and for setting up text-message alerts when the car enters and exits certain geographic areas.

As the name suggests, the new app function allows a vehicle to see where their car is on a map. That's ideal if you can't recall where you parked or want to know where a family member took your borrowed vehicle. But the myChevrolet update also adds special notification options to keep even better track of the car. App users can select certain geographic areas -- as wide as a 20-mile radius or as focused as a single street address -- and receive text messages when the connected vehicle arrives in or leaves those locations.

The alert boundary areas can be as small as a single address or as large as a 20-mile radius.

Chevrolet

For instance, Chevrolet says a parent might want to receive a text when a teen driver reaches school of if they veer too far from home. A long-distance commuter, meanwhile, could configure Vehicle Locate to send a text message to family members when they depart their office, Chevrolet suggests. And if you're a generous truck owner who lends your pickup to friends who need to move, the app will let you instantly find where it's currently parked. Chevrolet's example, for instance, shows a parent receiving texts like, "Curt's Camaro has arrived at wrestling" and "Curt's Camaro has arrived at home."

Each boundary alert can be sent to up to 10 people, and both parties -- both the sender and recipient -- must opt-in, Chevrolet says.

Vehicle Locate replaces an existing functionality for Chevrolet vehicles, Family Link, which worked only through a web interface rather than an app. It works on model-year 2012 and newer Chevrolet vehicles in North America, and it requires a subscription to Chevrolet's Remote Access Plan OnStar service.