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Volkswagen's WeConnect Go app now available in SA

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Volkswagen SA has taken the first step on the connected car journey, introducing its plug-and-play vehicle connectivity app WeConnect Go in SA.

The app, which has been available internationally for a while, brings a previously unconnected Volkswagen into the era of vehicle connectivity, allowing the user to receive the vehicle’s information via their smartphone.

The app, which is compatible with iOS and Android, offers a range of vehicle-related digital services and mobility information, including:

  • My Volkswagen: Displays important vehicle information like fuel level, mileage and battery voltage.
  • Service appointments: Enables customers to send appointment requests to their preferred Volkswagen dealer.
  • Get help: 24-hour roadside assistance.
  • Trip monitor: Digital logbook, which is easily exported as a PDF and can be used for South African Revenue Service vehicle claims.
  • Driving challenges: Points awarded for safe and efficient driving styles.

Internationally, the app also allows users to remotely open their boot to easily enable the delivery of goods directly into the vehicle.

“The points reward system, for instance, gives drivers a high score for smooth braking and acceleration, and a low score for a more aggressive driving style,” according to Volkswagen SA.

“The get help feature allows the user, in the event of a breakdown or an accident, to use the assistance call feature of the app to directly contact the national 24-hour breakdown service or the Volkswagen service hotline, with vehicle data and current location easily transmitted to the app.”

The WeConnect Go app, according to Volkswagen SA, works hand-in-hand with the data plugs − which are connected into the vehicle's on-board diagnostics system − to read data relating to the vehicle and send it to the vehicle owner's smartphone via Bluetooth.

Data plugs will be offered as standard on Volkswagen models from the Polo Comfortline and above, as from July, and will be available as optional items for older Volkswagen models dating back as far as 2008.

Smartphones are increasingly taking over more control and functions of vehicle services, with many vehicle manufacturers having globally introduced connected vehicle apps to perform various functions. These include Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Jaguar Land Rover, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz and Nissan.

Last year, Toyota SA launched in-vehicle WiFi-connected service Toyota Connect, which provides Toyota owners with access to music and video streaming, online battery health check, vehicle service bookings, fleet management alerts and driver rating capabilities.

Volkswagen’s new app comes as the company prepares for the local launch of its electric vehicle (EV) range. In February, the vehicle manufacturer introduced its electric mobility pilot project in SA, which saw six fully electric e-Golfs being tested in an effort to gain valuable consumer insights into the varying experiences of driving and living with an EV in SA.

The e-Golf pilot project includes charging infrastructure installed in Volkswagen's Uitenhage manufacturing plant, as well as the Dealer Training Academy in Centurion, Gauteng.

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