Auto Tech

VW Car-Net connected-car app adds new features for parents, paranoiacs

Nobody will be recreating that Ferris Bueller scene in your Golf, that's for sure.

Volkswagen

Volkswagen's Car-Net telematics system allows owners to use a smartphone app to control various vehicle features, and now, it's capable of doing even more.

VW added three new features to the Car-Net app, which is available for both iOS and Android. The first is curfew alert, which lets an owner know if a vehicle is driven past a set curfew time. Notifications can be sent by either text or email, depending on how quickly you want to get mad at your kids.

Valet or curfew alerts could still be used as ersatz vehicle alarms for childfree folks. A notification when a vehicle moves in the dead of night could make recovery easier, especially in conjunction with stolen vehicle tracking.

Volkswagen

The second is valet alert, which warns an owner if a valeted vehicle has been driven more than 0.2 mile away from its last parked location. Finally, there's parking information, which uses Parkopedia data to help drivers find available parking locations.

These features are in addition to an already healthy portfolio of connected-car goodies. Car-Net subscribers can lock and unlock the car, check the fuel level or EV range and access vehicle diagnostics from a distance. It can also send navigation directions from phone to car, or let parents know when a child has exceeded a preset speed limit or geofence.

There are also a few safety features on hand. It'll automatically notify an operator in the event of an accident, permit emergency calls through the vehicle and also connect subscribers to roadside assistance. It can even track the vehicle remotely in the event it's been stolen.

Telematics subscriptions aren't cheap, though. While new VW buyers do get a six-month trial for free, after that it'll run $199 for a year of connectivity, $378 for two years for $540 for three years. You can also go month-to-month for $17.99 per month, if you don't mind paying a bit more than you would with a lump-sum payment.