Just a few weeks ago, we reported that smartphone vehicle control isn't as far away as you might think. Five to seven years ago, more than a quarter of all new vehicles are anticipated to have some remote capabilities.
Now it's looking like Nissan might be one of the first automakers to offer it in the U.S.—albeit on a very limited basis at first.
Next fall, as Nissan starts delivering its new LEAF electric vehicle—which TheCarConnection.com just drove, briefly, in prototype form—in a trial run in a few select markets, to about 5,000 customers in all, the automaker plans to have smartphone integration ready to roll as well.
"You'll be able to track your vehicle's charging activities, and the times that it charges," said Mark Perry, Nissan North America's director for product planning and advanced technology, at a presentation in Seattle. "Your car will basically communicate with your cellphone and say, 'What's my state of charge?'"
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Perry said that the mobile integration with iPhone or other smartphone will allow you to receive an update or reminder, as you're shopping for instance, when your car's charge is completed; it will also allow more complex functions like remote preheating or precooling of your car while you're still plugged in.
"All those capabilities will be there at launch," Perry confirmed.
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