Drivers of Skoda’s all-electric Citigoe iV and Superb iV plug-in hybrid can now use Amazon Alexa voice assistants to start or stop charging remotely and check on the remaining range of their cars, all from the comfort of their home. The new features are part of a raft of upgrades added to the Skoda Connect service, with iV owners now able to perform a range of actions to simplify the charging and management of their electric vehicle.
One of the highlights is that motorists can now check the charge level of their vehicles’ battery before embarking on a journey, and if needed, can give it an extra bit of charge using solely the power of their voice without having to physically intervene.
For the function to work, customers simply need to ensure their charging cable is connected and use the command “Alexa, ask Skoda, I want to start charging my car.” Similarly, the “Alexa, ask Skoda…” command can be used to control all of the new features added to the Alexa skill.
Other notable upgrades see the Skoda Connect Alexa Skill now able to communicate in four languages – English, French, German and Italian – across all Skoda iV models. In addition, the updates allow drivers to control air conditioning levels, with the option to start up the system before getting into the car so that it’s at the optimal, desired temperature.
Amazon Alexa devices offer drivers a variety of additional data and information about their car. These include checking the remaining oil level, the current parking location and even obtaining a vehicle health check. The health check provides up-to-date data on the vehicle’s current condition and if any servicing is recommended, such as replacing the brake pads. The voice assistant can also helpfully advise whether the windows and doors are closed, the lights are off and if the vehicle is locked.
To use Alexa, customers require an Amazon account and an Alexa device, through which the Skoda Connect Alexa skill is activated. The vehicle owner then needs to link this skill to their Skoda Connect user account. Vehicle data, both for iV vehicles and traditional petrol and diesel models, can be accessed in all Skoda models which are equipped with Skoda Connect and have a mobile internet connection via a SIM card.
The technology updates will continue to be rolled out across the rest of the Skoda iV range, including the Octavia iV and Octavia iV vRS plug-in hybrids, which are due to be released later this year. The ability to start and stop charging and control air conditioning will also be added to all Google Home devices in the next few weeks using the Google Home Skoda Connect Action. These features will work in exactly the same way as Alexa devices, using the command “Ok Google, talk to Skoda Connect…” to control the necessary actions.