Advanced technology has connected mobile phones and vehicles smartly through mobile applications. Since smartphones are widely used, automakers are now catering to this consumer trend by applying several useful applications in their vehicles' infotainment systems for a car owner's convenience.
BMW Connected offers interesting features such as syncing a phone's calendar to the vehicle and more. It also has a remote locking and unlocking feature, but only the locking feature was working during the test. It has the slowest response time for its key fob features at roughly 11 seconds, but it has good authentication. BMW Connected is only available for iOS in the United States.
The most impressive feature of myChevrolet is its capability to remotely access and control the vehicle's 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, keep track of data usage, and has a lot of charging tools that users can access. It also offers a remote-start function --- requiring a four-digit PIN to use such command. When it comes to response time, myChevrolet was the quickest on both iOS and Android devices.
Just like myChevrolet, MyHundai also stood out since it has a long list of features. The app lets users access a climate-control function thru the remote-start system. It can also prompt alerts, which can be pushed to the mobile app --- letting the driver know that his or her vehicle is driven above a particular speed and more. However, these alert settings should be accessed from its website first before it can be used on the mobile app.
Infiniti's connection apps were somewhat of a key-fob-like functionality. Though QX30 lacks a remote fob, it includes alerts that compete with those of MyHyundai --- one of which is being able to send alerts for speed, curfew, and location restrictions. It is one of the only two apps that delivered real-time and location alerts. It also needs improvements with its user interface for better user experience.
While Tesla Motors serves as the most user-friendly among the other apps, it is the one most lacking. It has keyless driving function and has Summon --- allowing users to navigate their Tesla forward or backward via phone, according to Car And Driver.
Most of these apps are for free with its designated cars and some are downloadable and free for quite some time. After the free period, users have to either renew or buy it. Though it offers convenience to consumers, personal information from the driver's location down to their time schedules make it more vulnerable.