Connectivity Upgrades Coming to Most 2016 Volkswagens
Volkswagen will introduce its all-new MIB II infotainment system to buyers when it’s 2016 vehicles begin arriving in showrooms this quarter.
The next-generation system’s features are divided into “three key areas” according to the automaker:
- Security & Service – connected car services and advanced telematics
- Guide & Inform – enhances the navigation and advanced infotainment systems
- App-Connect – seamless smartphone integration through three interfaces: Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto™, and MirrorLink®.
“With the new MIB II infotainment platform, Volkswagen’s next generation of Car-Net connected services brings to market one of the most comprehensive suites of connectivity features ever available in an automobile,” said Michael Horn, president and CEO, Volkswagen of America, Inc. “As the people’s car brand, we knew that it was important to democratize these technologies across the Volkswagen line-up, with features like App-Connect ensuring that more consumers can integrate their smart devices in a wide range of trims on virtually every model the company sells.”
Volkswagen claims their connectivity is different than that of other automakers because instead of just adding the technology to a vehicle, VW was collaborated with technology industry to integrate their products into the vehicles.
Modular Infotainment Platform (MIB II)
VW’s next-generation MIB II offers higher resolution, faster processing speeds, and crisp graphics. Each unit will feature touchscreens as standard equipment on all models. On most models, the display utilizes a capacitive touch sensor (as in smartphone and tablet technology) enabling gesture controls like swiping and pinch-zooming rather than the resistive touchscreens that require pressure and have slightly longer response times. Like MIB I, MIB II will feature a proximity sensor.
Entry-level VW models will feature:
- a Composition Color touchscreen radio with a 5.0-inch resistive 400 x 240 color display
- SD card slots
- USB multimedia interface with Apple iPhone® and iPod® compatibility
- reverse camera display
- Bluetooth® technology.
The Composition Media unit is available on select trims across the Volkswagen line. With this unti buyers get:
- an 800×480 capacitive color touch display with proximity sensor, with either a 6.5-inch screen for the Golf family or a 6.3-inch screen for all other Volkswagen models
- App-Connect smartphone integration
- Bluetooth with the ability to send and receive SMS text messages with compatible phones, sync two phones simultaneously, enhanced electric vehicle functions
- two SD card slots
- a JPEG viewer
- SiriusXM Radio
- HD Radio
- Support for lossless audio file format (Free Lossless Audio Codec FLAC).
Higher trim levels feature the Discover Media unit, which captures the features available in the previous two units and adds 2.5D Navigation, one-shot voice destination entry, additional electric vehicle functions, predicts possible destinations based on often used routes, and Destination Entry with Quick Search and Auto-complete, and Car-Net Guide & Inform.
For 2016, the e-Golf SEL Premium model will receive the Discover Pro unit which adds an 8.0-inch color capacitive touch display, one-shot Point-Of-Interest (POI) entry, 3D SSD navigation, Jukebox music storage with approximately 10GB of available storage, wireless connectivity, even more electric vehicle functions such as range check and range view in the map, DVD drive, and a simplified route editing features for the navigation which allows the user to drag and drop waypoints directly on the display.
Customers purchasing new Volkswagen models equipped with VW Car-Net will receive a no-charge trial for six months after purchase. To extend the benefits of this connectivity system, customers can choose from a number of VW Car-Net payment options: 1 year, for $199; 2 years for $378; 3 years for $540; or, month-to-month, for $17.99.
Volkswagen Car-Net “Security & Service”
As part of Volkswagen’s security and service suite, buyers have the ability to activate Automatic Crash Notification, Manual Emergency Call, Roadside Assistance and Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance.
New features for 2016 include:
- remote vehicle access
- remote door lock and unlock
- remote honk and flash (of lights)
- last parked location information
- remote status check (doors and windows).
For families, Volkswagen is highlighting Family Guardian, a suite of features that includes speed alert, which notifies the owner of the vehicle when the pre-determined maximum speed limit is exceeded; and boundary alert, which lets you know when the vehicle has traveled outside of a pre-set virtual boundary.
Diagnostics and maintenance information is also available through Car-Net.
Volkswagen Car-Net “Guide & Inform”
Car-Net Guide & Inform allotters drivers and passengers to see layers of information and navigation on their infotainment screens. For 2016 that information includes real-time fuel prices, sports scores, movie information and weather data as part of the three month SiriusXM Travel Link trial. VW customers will also enjoy real-time traffic information and a complimentary four-year SiriusXM Traffic trial.
Through App-Connect, Apple CarPlay allows drivers to get directions, send and receive messages, and listen to audiobooks or music, through the vehicle’s touchscreen, steering wheel controls or Siri®, allowing you to stay focused on the road ahead.
Android Auto organizes information, “into simple cards that appear on the overview screen when they are needed.” Lollipop 5.0-powered smartphones will also be able to make and receive phone calls, listen to incoming messages, respond to messages by voice and access other features through the in-vehicle system while Google Maps provides navigation while Google Play Music allows owners to stream music directly to their VW. Spotify, iHeart Radio, Stitcher, Whatsapp and Skype are available for Android users.
Don’t have an Android or Apple device? MirrorLink technology integrates select apps and operating layouts of numerous smartphones (including select phones from Samsung, HTC, LG and Sony) into Volkswagen products. MirrorLink also features third party app integration including Parkopedia, Glympse, AUPEO!, miRoamer and WeatherPro.
The only 2016 Volkswagen models that will not receive the new technology are the Eos, which has a short production run, and the Touareg.
The first 2016 models featuring the new infotainment system are in showrooms now.