The Volvo had to visit the dealer recently because of a fault using the optional mobile internet provided with our test car.
The Volvo Connected Drive gives the driver access to a number of functions, including streaming music from a Spotify account, internet access and searches via Google via a dongle that can be plugged into a USB socket in the glove compartment.
Trouble using it suggested a visit to the local dealer was needed and the remedy was to order a new SD card for the dongle, and a replacement touchscreen display for the dashboard.
Since then both have worked fine, but frustratingly the download speed is nowhere near as fast as it is on my own smartphone.
I’m pretty certain that as car connectivity develops, the functions of a driver’s own smartphone will become ever more important in keeping the car connected to the outside world.
Our Volvo On Call app, for example, is certainly proving useful, and I access it a few times a day to manage some of the car’s functions.
As well as mapping charge points and the car’s location should you need to charge it at a point a little way from your eventual destination, you can also check on the car’s charge status and remaining diesel and range.
You can set the timer to precondition the car’s cabin to your desired temperature by the time you’re ready to leave in it. You can also set the preconditioning instantaneously or stop it without going anywhere near the car.
You can also use it to check mileage and fuel consumption and use it to record journeys – useful for keeping an accurate record of business mileage.