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Watch me!
 
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Comfortable interior: Owners can monitor the climate control in their cars.

Porsche is one of the first car manufacturers to offer an Apple Watch app: Car Connect on your wrist.

You’re three blocks away from your Panamera, and then it dawns on you. Is the car locked? Are the mirrors folded in? A quick glance at your watch calms your nerves. Yes, the car is secure. A few years ago, this seemed like science fiction. But now, it’s a reality. Reality brought to you by Porsche and Apple. This watch truly does enable you to control certain functions of your car.

Clearly, Porsche drivers do not want to give up control behind the wheel, but that is not the essence of this feature. Instead, this new technology offers the ability to monitor and control certain vehicle convenience functions from afar. To do so, you need an Apple Watch plus the Porsche Car Connect app on your smartphone. Because the watch does not have its own SIM card, the two devices connect via Bluetooth. The Porsche Car Connect (PCC) system, which uses the cell phone network, enables you to communicate with the car no matter the distance. The major functions are divided into three categories.

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Everything under control: If the car drives beyond a predetermined radius or exceeds a set speed, the owner is notified immediately.

Remote Services
The “My Car” section of the display shows information such as the fuel level, remaining range, mileage, fuel consumption, average speed, and tire pressure, as well as the duration and distance of your last drive. Another display indicates whether all the doors and the top are closed and whether or not the side mirrors are folded in. If this is not the case, a warning then appears. The driver can then use the app to lock the doors and fold in the mirrors. For security reasons, however, it is not possible to unlock the doors remotely.

Additional features are available for plug-in hybrid models. Drivers can check the battery’s state of charge and start the charging process if the vehicle is hooked up to a charging station. What is more, you can also program the car to be charged at up to three different times. At 7 a.m., for example, so the batteries are full for the commute to work. And then at 7 p.m. for the trip back home. The car automatically calculates when to start the charging process to meet these deadlines. You can also set the climate control to heat or cool the interior as desired.

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Tires okay? Press a button and the watch will show the difference between the recommended and actual air pressure.

When parked in unfamiliar surroundings, owners can determine the shortest route to their vehicle via the Apple Watch, which uses the car’s coordinates and clock to determine the location. When they approach the car, it will flash the headlights or sound the horn. This may not sound very spectacular in the age of Google Maps, but it is quite helpful in crowded parking garages or in large supermarket parking lots.

If owners allow other individuals such as their children to drive their cars, they can monitor the car’s usage. A geo-fencing option immediately notifies them if the car is driven beyond an agreed-upon (and specified) radius. A speed-fencing option will inform them if the car exceeds a pre-specified limit.

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How full is the battery? You can see the Panamera S E-Hybrid’s state of charge and battery level at a glance.

Security Services
For obvious reasons, theft protection was a priority when this app was developed. In combination with the Porsche Vehicle Tracking System (PVTS), the app immediately recognizes theft and reports it to the local authorities. Owners also receive a message right away on their watches. Porsche developers have tested how well this works themselves. Shortly after their attempted “thefts,” the cars were secured by local police and the Porsche testers had to reveal their true identities.

Safety Services
If the car is taken to a dealer for maintenance or is transported to another location, the geo-fencing function can be deactivated manually in the settings in order to prevent an unneeded notification. Even in such cases, however, the theft detection function remains active in the background.

If the car’s sensors detect an airbag deployment, they assume that an accident or other emergency has occurred and send this information to the emergency center along with the coordinates of the vehicle. The emergency center can then take immediate and appropriate action.

By Klaus-Eckhard Jost
Photos by Steffen Jahn

Start me app

Porsche Car Connect (PCC) and Porsche Vehicle Tracking System (PVTS) are standard features of all new 911 models.

For the Panamera, Macan, and Cayenne, these features can be ordered on new vehicles. A retrofit is not available.

Car Connect is available in 44 countries, including Europe, the USA, Canada, and Russia. Evaluation is underway for additional countries.

Apple Watch can be used together with Car Connect in eight countries. The corresponding app is available in the Apple App Store free of charge.

For more information:
www.porsche.com/connect