Car ownership and daily motoring isn’t 100% worry free, even if you have the most reliable car around. Ever parked somewhere dodgy because you had no choice, wondered if the valet took your car for a joyride, or forgot where exactly in the giant parking lot is your car?
Want to know your car’s current fuel level (petrol stations are no longer open 24/7 these days) or if it’s due for service without making the 10 minute two-way journey across the condo car park? All these, and more, have been solved by the new Honda Connect telematics system, which was launched by Honda Malaysia last month. The first model to get Honda Connect as standard is the City RS e:HEV.
Basically, with Honda Connect, car owners will be able to access a variety of functions via a dedicated smartphone app available for both Apple and Android devices. The app is connected to your car, giving you remote access to functions and vehicle status. The functions are split into three categories – safety, security and convenience.
Let’s start with the functions that you hope won’t be activated. In the safety and security camp, there’s automatic collision detection, which provides immediate support from Honda Malaysia’s 24-hour roadside assist call centre, in the event of an emergency. Should an accident or airbag deployment occur, a notification will be automatically sent to the call centre and emergency services will be dispatched to the site.
In addition, a notification will automatically be sent to the Honda Connect app when a collision is detected, so car owners are kept informed if something happens to other drivers, say a family member.
Meanwhile, security alarm detection monitors forceful entry into the car, whether through the doors or boot. Any intrusion will trigger a notification sent to both the car owner and call centre. Together with the triggering of the alarm system, this reduces the chance of theft. There’s also a find my car function in the app that allows owners to track their vehicle on a map, useful in the event of theft.
As for the car valet situation mentioned above, the owner can use Honda Connect’s speed and geo-fencing alert functions to receive alerts should the car exceed a preset distance radius or speed limit. This might also be handy for parents who are temporarily handing over the keys to their teenage children. Last but not least, an emergency call function enables drivers to reach important contacts ASAP in the event of an emergency.
Moving on to the convenience department, remote vehicle control allows owners to lock and unlock their car from the phone app. Owners can also request the call centre to unlock their car remotely if say, they accidentally left the car keys inside.
Other functions that can be done remotely include engine start and stop, turning the air con on/off (pre-cool your car on hot days) and turning on the lights to make your car easier to find at night.
Being able to check on your car’s status remotely is also cool. The app’s dashboard shows current fuel level, remaining range, plus state of the door locks, battery voltage and airbags. You can also check on driving behaviour and trip logs – these data can be shared on social media if you wish. As for reminders, the app will notify you when it’s time for service (with a parts list, estimated cost and a list of Honda dealerships for you to make an appointment) or insurance and road tax renewal.
Finally, the Honda Connect telematics system also comes with remote diagnostic support. The 11 main indicators are ABS, supplemental restraint system, brake system, engine malfunction, charging system, VSA, electric power steering system, lane keep assist system, adaptive cruise control, safety support and power system. Should there be any issues, a push notification will be sent to users. As always, the call centre is ready to provide necessary support.
Honda Connect is now available on the City RS, and we’re expecting to see this very useful system on future models. Think of it as a very capable and attentive personal assistant – on hand 24/7 – for your car.
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