Amazing! Your ŠKODA Citigo iV or Superb iV can now be charged via voice command from your sofa. How? With Amazon Alexa which is a small, low cost device that reacts to verbal instructions. Simply say: ‘Alexa, ask ŠKODA – I want to start charging my car’. Assuming it is connected to the charger via a cable, your vehicle now charges. You can also confirm how much charge your battery has now.
In addition to Alexa, these new features come via ‘updates’ to ŠKODA Connect which is an umbrella term for a range of connected services. It ensures your car is connected to the internet so it can send and receive data. So, why is it useful to check a car’s battery status – and recharge it if necessary – via voice commands?
Imagine it is a cold, wet night and you are watching a film with family. A thought now flashes across your mind: ‘has my car got enough charge for tomorrow’s drive to work?’ Without Alexa, you have to stop the film, put on your shoes, step outside into bad weather, and check the vehicle’s charge dial. That is inconvenient.
In contrast, Alexa lets you ask how much charge the car has from the sofa. A verbal command is all you require. If the battery is too low, you can start the charger via a second command. That is far more convenient than stepping outside. Amazon Alexa also lets you make other verbal commands to control the vehicle. For example:
- switch on the air conditioning remotely (so that the vehicle is a comfortable temperature before you start your journey)
- confirm the windows are closed and the doors are locked (so you know the car is secure)
- see how long before the car is charged (so you can plan your day)
- confirm where the vehicle is parked (if you forget)
- check the lights are off (to preserve the battery)
- health check, e.g. see whether the vehicle needs new brake pads (so you can keep it in perfect working order).
The ŠKODA Citigo iV (an electric city car) and the Superb iV (a plug-in hybrid for executives) are the only vehicles in the manufacturer’s range that can be charged by voice command. Not for long, though. The Octavia iV and Octavia vRS iV plug-in hybrids will share this ability once they launch in 2020. Watch this space!