Beth Kelly's picture

How Chevy Volt Heralds the Arrival of Truly "Connected" Cars

The Chevy Volt is a plug-in hybrid electric car enhanced with a range-extending gasoline engine. The new 2016 model will have a combined gasoline-battery range of about 390 miles and starts at a $33,995 list price before a $7,500 federal income tax electric car rebate. It can support an average daily commute of up to 50 miles with an overnight battery charge.

Chevrolet's MyLink display pairs up with smartphones through USB to allow hands-free calling and messaging, including Siri Eyes Free for compatible iPhones. The Volt's rear camera and onboard sensors offer driver assistive safety features such as Intellibeam headlamps, alerts for side-blind-zone, lane-change, and rear-cross-traffic, and forward collisions.

The "connected" Chevy Volt has integrated 4G LTE internet service. Up to seven devices, from smartphones, game devices and laptops, can be freely connected to the in-car internet. AT&T is the wireless carrier and coverage includes free roaming throughout the US and Canada. Both Apple iOS and Android can be extended to the MyLink dashboard system for compatibility with mobile apps. Apple's Carplay integrates iPhone apps into the car's dashboard system once the iPhone is plugged in via USB, enabling music playlists through iTunes, watching videos, email, messaging, and navigation through MyLink. Google's Projected Mode will similarly bring Android smartphones functionality to the dashboard system. Pandora and Sirius are also available.

With the Internet of Things (IoT) enabled, Chevy’s “connected car” is a hub for an ecosystem of connected services that offer passengers enhanced safety and security, a richer user experience, and new product offerings. GM's OnStar network provides services for safety and security to vehicles on the road. Through the Volt's 4G LTE mobile hotspots, the always-on IoT enables premium content providers, brick-and-mortar retailers, and vehicle manufacturers to extend trial offers for their services. Commerce is brought directly to the passenger inside the vehicle with coupons for businesses that lie ahead.

As our lives become increasingly digital, commerce enacted from our connected cars will reduce trips to brick-and-mortar stores and businesses. Thanks to satellite internet and built in Wifi hotspots, passengers in future connected cars will be able to switch on home heating or cooling as they near home. Over-the-air firmware updates can be pushed to cars to fix software glitches as has been done with Tesla firmware updates. Automatic 24/7 crash notification services can notify emergency services in case of an accident. Health monitoring apps on our smartphones might someday warn emergency services of a medical crisis such as a heart attack, as our connected cars reroute to the nearest hospital emergency room.

Connected cars will one day self-organize into "flocks" headed for a common destination, drafting one another for energy savings. Fuel and energy will be saved by navigation services that are aware of traffic conditions and reroute to avoid congestion, and to avoid time wasted at stop lights. Smart parking will become possible, sending cars to available spaces to eliminate aimless circling. The IoT will lead to smart buildings aware of their occupants' comfort, and smart cities will arise that optimize transportation flows, entertainment, commerce, access to goods and services as well as resources for residents.

The 2016 Volt offers driver assistive features for collision avoidance that anticipate hazards due to driver distraction. The ecosystem of goods and services offered by an Internet of Vehicles, (connected cars and smartphones), together with new driver assistive safety features, are part of the next wave of technology from Chevrolet and other car companies that will enhance mobility for humans.

The Chevy Volt with its 4G LTE Internet is part of the new wave of truly "connected" cars that provide a full suite of enhanced goods, services, safety and convenience to passengers on the road. Moreover, with its new driver assistive safety features, Chevy Volt is part of the migration to the futuristic Internet of Vehicles and other smart connected environments to come.

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is the author of this article the Beth Kelly who is a employee of Simms Chevrolet?

You mad bro that a Leaf didn't offer Pandora and movie times to be displayed on the head unit?

We (ourselves and OTHERS) should not be charged over and over (through subscription plans) for the best safety and security available in our vehicles. Said this way, in 2021, you would hate to be the victim of some serious accident involving a 2016 Volt because its owner failed to subscribe to OnStar after their free initial subscription period lapsed. Manufacturers, out of a sense of love for humanity OR through regulations (you decide which method of assurance could prevail) must ENABLE ALL SAFETY FEATURES FOR THE LIFE OF THE VEHICLE and factor the costs into the purchase price.

I had a wireless broadband ISP that frequently went down when the weather changed and was very slow. We live in a ranch in a rural area here in Texas. Fortunately, I was able to dump the wireless ISP (a company called Rise based in Colorado) and now we are using my 2015 Chevrolet Volt. It's a little less convenient to do this but incredibly reliable, much faster than the Teir 3 (fastest service Rise offered at $90 per month) but with the speeds I get through my Volt I get more done on the Internet and am able do more.

Imagine, an electric car, out here in the sticks connecting us to the rest of the world! Life is good...