Under the terms of a major new deal between the car giant and Vivendi, the French communications group, Peugeot and Citroen cars will be the first in the world to offer remote diagnosis of mechanical faults and maintenance support at no cost. The new facility will supplement existing pan-European breakdown services by locating vehicles via the GPS system. By simply pushing a button on the centre console, motorists will receive confirmation of breakdown call-outs and estimates of how long it will take for help to arrive.
Assistance in the event of accident or illness will also be triggered from car's dashboard. Peugeot Citroen chairman Jean-Martin Folz and Vivendi chairman Jean-Marie Messier claim the deal - to be branded under the Wappi! title - opens the door on a unique information channel dedicated to the motorist.
Meanwhile, Citroen is banking on the smart electronics technology to bolster its position in the UK fleet market. Citroen UK is planning to capitalise on providing inexpensive voice-recognition gadgetry which makes life easier. As a package of advanced dashboard features was being launched on the Xsara under the Windows CE banner, a spokesman told Fleet NewsNet: 'This equipment will give us the edge in the fleet sector and we intend to make the most of it.'