It seems that people have a tough time functioning without their smartphone. This is especially true when people are operating a vehicle. You’ll often see young drivers zooming by while shooting off texts, making a phone call, or streaming their favorite music. There’s no denying how distracting this can be for the driver, and this lack of focus could put themselves, their car, and other drivers in danger.
Luckily, car brands are doing their part to integrate their vehicles with smartphone technology. One of the brands that’s leading the way with these smartphone-centric technologies is Chevy. The brand has included many features and capabilities that cater to their gadget-obsessed drivers, and these functions are particularly prevalent in the 2016 Chevy Impala.
The mid-size car’s functions make using a phone incredibly easy, thus making it safer to operate the vehicle while talking with others. There are systems that help cool your smartphone, preventing it from overheating, while a smartphone application will allow you to remotely start your vehicle.
Chevy is clearly doing everything in their power to combine their vehicles with smartphone technology. Let’s see what recent features the brand has rolled out, with a particular focus on the 2016 Chevy Impala…
Active Phone Cooling
We’re sure you’ve been in a situation where your smartphone has failed due to heat. Despite a thermal protection layer that helps protect the phone’s inner workings from heat damage, there’s no denying that these gadgets still wilt in these scenarios. Overheated phones will often refuse to work until the temperature has decreased, meaning drivers can’t rely on the technology to play music, use a navigation, service or simply receive phone calls.
“Over time, regular overheating can do permanent damage to the lithium ion batteries that power our smartphones. I always recommend keeping your phone in a cool, ventilated place, where it can stay at a comfortable room temperature, whether it’s charging or discharging,” Jeffrey Van Camp, the deputy editor of Digital Trends, explained in a Chevy press release.
Luckily, Chevy is doing something about this predicament. To prevent phones from overheating, engineers installed a new Active Phone Cooling system in several of their new rides, including the 2016 Chevy Impala. The vehicle’s air conditioning and ventilation unit are directed straight to the cooling dock, where your smartphone can beat the heat and operate in peace. The technology may seem rather obvious, but Chevy is the first brand to offer this type of system.
“Innovation doesn’t mean reinventing the wheel,” said Dan Lascu, an Impala engineer. “Sometimes simplicity offers the most elegant solution to a problem.”
Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
You know that you shouldn’t be using your smartphone while you’re operating a vehicle. As a result, you may have equipped your phone with a number of accessories that make using your phone even easier, allowing you to dedicate your full attention to the road. Of course, some of these products don’t work all that well, and it can be difficult for a driver to adjust to these add-ons.
With the new Apple CarPlay and Android Auto technologies, drivers won’t have to worry about inconsistent phone connectivity. The system allows drivers to seamlessly connect their smartphone to the brand’s MyLink infotainment system, thus unlocking all of their phone’s basic capabilities.
“For most of us, our smartphones are essential,” said Mary Barra, the CEO of General Motors. “Partnering with Apple and Google to offer CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility across the widest range of models in the industry is a great example of how Chevrolet continues to democratize technology that’s important to our customers.”
When drivers access the Android Auto technology, they’ll be able to unlock a number of Google-centric applications, whether it be Google Maps, Google Now, or just the standard Google search engine. Plus, there are a number of audio and messaging apps to utilize, whether it be Skype, Spotify, or the podcast player.
With Apple CarPlay, drivers will find similar capabilities. Drivers can easily make phone calls, listen to music, or send and receive texts. You can even utilize Siri’s capabilities, meaning you can use voice commands to access any of these functions (alternatively, drivers can also use the steering-wheel-mounted controls).
For those non-drivers, they’ll still be able to stay on the grid throughout the duration of their journey. The available built-in 4G LTE wi-fi connectivity allows those occupants to maintain a strong internet connection. Whether they want to stream a movie, chat with friends, or finish some work, it will be possible thanks to the Impala’s wireless internet.
If driver’s opted for the OnStar Basic Plan, they’ll be able to utilize the OnStar RemoteLink Fey Fob services. This technology allows drivers to remotely access their new Impala, and they can manipulate it via a smartphone application.
“Chevrolet, paired with the RemoteLink app available through OnStar, offers one of the most winter-weather ready lineups of any manufacturer,” said Philip M. Abram, GM’s chief infotainment officer.
When equipped with this service, drivers can lock/unlock their doors, view their vehicle’s diagnostics, or even remotely start their Impala. This means drivers no longer have to run out to their new car to start their engine on those cold mornings. Instead, they can start their vehicle from the comfort of their own couch.
Speaking of that engine, it might be important to warm up the pair of available options. The 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine can pump out 196 horsepower and 186 pounds-feet of torque, while the optional 3.6-liter DOHC V6 engine can deliver 305 horsepower and 264 pounds-feet of torque. Considering this amount of power, it might be in the owner’s best interest to start the engines a bit early.
It’s apparent that the future is now. Chevy’s assortment of smartphone-centered technology is as modern as you can get. These systems not only improve the driver’s enjoyment of their vehicle, but several of these technologies can help improve safety and your smartphone’s well-being. Whether you’re utilizing your Impala’s cooling system, the Apple Carplay/Android Auto technology, or OnStar’s RemoteLink application, you’ll get a better understanding of how Chevy is catering to these tech-obsessed drivers.