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How would you like remote start offered?

  • Don't want it

    Votes: 7 8.5%
  • Fob ONLY (free for life)

    Votes: 12 14.6%
  • Phone ONLY (required monthly fee with VOC)

    Votes: 2 2.4%
  • Both (let me choose if I want the extra stuff)

    Votes: 61 74.4%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

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As I'm not the Volvo demographic any more (I bought mine 15 years ago but never came back) take this with the grain of salt it comes with, namely that one not only has to think about what they are going to do with the car, but also what they can do to persuade the next buyer of the car to buy it. On average, I think a car has something like 3 owners, the first that buys it new and takes the majority depreciation hit, the second that gets a good used car, and the third who has to fix the problems as the car has depreciated down to 'transport' value and is most often not worth the $$ it takes to fix what's wrong. On average, I think the life of a car is about 17 years before it's junked.

In this particular case with the use of cellular technology, I think 4G is being used for the VOC function, 5G is being introduced as we speak, and in 10 to 15 years years we'd probably see 6G, maybe even 7G or 8G. At that point will 4G even be around for this to work? Remember you guys are "Buyer 1" but you have to sell it to "Buyer 2" who has to turn around and sell it to "Buyer 3" when the car is worth 5% to 10% of what it originally sold for.

If there's no cellular network that will allow this to work, it becomes another luxury 'do-dad' that actually decreases the value of the car (because it's one more thing to break that flashes an error code on the DIM) Combine that with Volvo's traditional stance of keeping VADIS or other diagnostic tools either very expensive or close to the dealer's chest, and all those fancy gizmos that seem so jolly-whiz-bang now may actually be a detriment in the long run when they have to get fixed.

Anyway, only someone's $.02, here, so take it as only one opinion of many.
 

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There should be another option, "phone only is fine/no big deal". It's not that I specifically only want it in the phone, just that with all due respect to others wants, I think the current system is totally acceptable.
 

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As I'm not the Volvo demographic any more (I bought mine 15 years ago but never came back) take this with the grain of salt it comes with, namely that one not only has to think about what they are going to do with the car, but also what they can do to persuade the next buyer of the car to buy it. On average, I think a car has something like 3 owners, the first that buys it new and takes the majority depreciation hit, the second that gets a good used car, and the third who has to fix the problems as the car has depreciated down to 'transport' value and is most often not worth the $$ it takes to fix what's wrong. On average, I think the life of a car is about 17 years before it's junked.

In this particular case with the use of cellular technology, I think 4G is being used for the VOC function, 5G is being introduced as we speak, and in 10 to 15 years years we'd probably see 6G, maybe even 7G or 8G. At that point will 4G even be around for this to work? Remember you guys are "Buyer 1" but you have to sell it to "Buyer 2" who has to turn around and sell it to "Buyer 3" when the car is worth 5% to 10% of what it originally sold for.

If there's no cellular network that will allow this to work, it becomes another luxury 'do-dad' that actually decreases the value of the car (because it's one more thing to break that flashes an error code on the DIM) Combine that with Volvo's traditional stance of keeping VADIS or other diagnostic tools either very expensive or close to the dealer's chest, and all those fancy gizmos that seem so jolly-whiz-bang now may actually be a detriment in the long run when they have to get fixed.

Anyway, only someone's $.02, here, so take it as only one opinion of many.
A couple comments:

1) Believe it or not, Volvo only equipped the car with 3G, despite LTE being about a 10 year old technology already.

2) So far most 4G/LTE mobile devices (and their underlying chips) are backward compatible not only with 3G but with it's predecessor (ever notice the "1x" on your phone?). That means current devices are able to use mobile tech that was in service at the end of last century. So unless there is a major change in the future, it's reasonable to expect that devices that use older cellular tech will still have service. The fact that Volvo chose a service already a decade in use for their new cars does decrease those odds somewhat, but you're probably still fine.

3) The rate of adoption for new generations of cellular signal tech is much slower than other technology, primarily because it cost the carriers billions of dollars. I wouldn't assume we would be on "7G or 8G" by the time these cars are end-of-life. "5G" maybe, which would make the Volvo tech 2 generations old.
 

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One of the option for this poll could be: do you want to use VOC features besides remote start.
A "Phone only" remote start is of course very poor functionality and not what people could choose in reality.
 

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I've never heard of the idea of buying a vehicle with the person you're going to sell it to in mind except for twice on this forum today. I don't think most people look at car purchases that way. And I don't think most people are going to rule out old vehicles because they had old technology; that's kind of expected when buying an old vehicle.

When I bought a '95 Tercel, I wasn't thinking, "man this thing doesn't even have a CD player!" I was thinking, "man, I'm looking forward to rock solid reliability and great mpg." And that's what I got (it took about 1k every 10k miles to maintain and got up to 50 mpg highway).

Is the '16 XC90 technology going to look ancient in 2026? Of course. Is it going to matter to the people interested in buying a 2016 XC90 in 2026? I doubt it.
 

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In the US - we know it is AT&T provided service and 3G. While I've seen lots of posts on this - I have not seen anything definitive as to what the radio capabilities in the vehicle is. It is possible that the LTE support is there - and it was a business or even technical decision to not provide LTE capabilities.

I also wonder if the radio's roots are GSM based - which most of the world uses. And the blocks of frequencies for GSM 3G are more common throughout the world. Once we get into LTE there's a lot of different frequencies (bands) involved. In the US - even T-Mobile and AT&T have taken different approaches on how they provide LTE.

Some years ago I did a lot of experimentation with Verizon Wireless LTE service whilst mobile (multi-day thousand mile journey) - and the experience was not very good when using data: handoff issues when going from one site to another ... and complete disconnects when leaving an LTE cell where the next site was 3G only. It is better today - but I think that is due more to better LTE coverage ... than dealing with the interoperability of the different standards.

As consumers we have one view of mobile wireless telco offerings - but there are other industries that use the networks as well - especially the trucking industry. Carriers have all kinds of plans for data services ... and I'd expect that they've worked with Volvo and others in providing mobile services for autos.

And I concur with Citivas: while there will surely be bigger and better wireless technologies to come ... it will take some time (and a lot of capital $$$) to implement. Before a carrier can shut down their 3G networks they need to make sure the bulk of their users are using the newer technologies. To wit: today we're starting to see voice over LTE and LTE Advanced (higher data speeds). The Next Generation Mobile Networks Alliance is defining what comes after LTE - some may call that the 5th generation or 5G. It will likely be no earlier than 2020 before we start seeing any of that.

In the US - the FCC (government body that regulates the frequencies: Federal Communications Commission) is working on a plan where television broadcasters will vacate the higher UHF television channels (called "repacking") and in turn those frequencies would then be auctioned off for wireless carriers to deploy new technologies. Unlikely that anything in the Volvo 2016/2017 models being built today would work with what gets rolled out in those re-purposed TV channels.

Lastly - GM went through this in a big way with Onstar. Back around 2002 was a cutoff for analog / digital systems. Many people that had early (analog only) Onstar systems either lost Onstar (when the carriers shut off analog service) or had to upgrade. In some cases vehicles had (dealer installed) upgrades available, and that included a new module, radio and antenna.

Onstar has had functionality similar to VOC for a few years ... and it is a subscription based model as well. (Don't blame Volvo - blame the industry.)
 

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I voted both, because if I could have my cake and eat it too, that's obviously what I'd choose.

But in my case, the app-based approach is actually much more useful than a fob-based solution. I rarely have line of sight of my vehicle when I'd like to start it.

E.g., use-cases where I could see the app-based approach being particularly helpful to me

1) I used to take the commuter train to work, and on cold winter nights, used to dream that I'd be able to start the car 5 minutes before I reached my station and it'd be warm by the time I crossed the parking lot and made it into the driver's seat.
2) I occasionally drive to work and would love to be able to start the car from upstairs as I'm packing up my laptop and papers and preparing to leave for the night.
3) When I go shopping and I've parked at the far end of the parking lot to prevent my new car from getting scratched up, I'd like to be able to heat the car up from inside the mall and have it ready for me before I can see it.
4) When visiting apartment-dwelling friends and I have to park on the street. Start the car before I say my goodbyes and make my way down the elevator.

You get the idea.

I park my car in a heated parking garage, and therefore the only time I don't need to use the remote start feature is when I'm at home. I can see how for someone who parks the car in their driveway and wants to walk over to their living room window, start their car, then finish their breakfast, the fob-based solution would be far preferable. But in my case, by the time I have line of sight to my car and thus can use a fob-based starter, I'm typically walking to the car anyway and it means that all the car had was a 45-second head start at heating up before I got there.

For anyone who remembers the last couple of polar vortex winters, that's not nearly enough to be useful!
 

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I voted both, because if I could have my cake and eat it too, that's obviously what I'd choose.

But in my case, the app-based approach is actually much more useful than a fob-based solution. I rarely have line of sight of my vehicle when I'd like to start it.
Exactly!

I voted both even knowing very well that I am use to and prefer a fob and there's a 99.9% chance that I would not pay for VOC, at least at their current rates.

Other brands are offering both and it seems the best way to accommodate everybody. That to me is 'human centric" engineering. IMO, the current phone only approach is "volvo centric".

The only reasons I can think of to vote 1-3 is because one is doing so thinking they're going to get money back from Volvo or that Volvo would remove the feature and drop the price. The feature is already in the car, you've paid for it. Volvo isn't giving money back. If you prefer the fob only, how would having the phone option you're ignoring impact your experience? Don't install the app! Likewise, if you chose phone only, how does the fob version get in the way or impact your experience?
 

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For every new vehicle we have purchased I have always gone the aftermarket route and had an alarm with remote start installed. It offered better quality and range than what manufacturers offered. Now with the Volvo's electronic architecture of course it is a different animal. My vote would be that you pay for the remote start device in the car, say $500. That in turn can be activated via the key fob (free), or you could access it via the vehicles telematics if you have a subscription.
Personally my aftermarket Viper remote start has always taken care of the job. It has a range of a quarter mile, and I'm never that far away when I need to start the car anyway.
 

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I think the whole point of offering the start option on the phone only is that if your close enough to start it with the FOB your close enough to start the car yourself.

as for the yearly fee I understand volvo needs to have a cell connection to the car as well as your phone through the app so it does cost money to run the system but I think the price is too high. who knows, the more cars that come out with the feature it may bring down the price.
 

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I think the whole point of offering the start option on the phone only is that if your close enough to start it with the FOB your close enough to start the car yourself.
That's what I tell my wife about her Jeep. Just because its 35º out, she should have to walk out to a very cold vehicle and start it herself. Very lazy of her to have a warm interior waiting for her.
 

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There should be another option, "phone only is fine/no big deal". It's not that I specifically only want it in the phone, just that with all due respect to others wants, I think the current system is totally acceptable.
Not for people without a smart phone Those people DO exists!!!!
 

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Not for people without a smart phone Those people DO exists!!!!
There are also people don't need remote start. I don't have it in all of my previous and current cars...
It is good but not a must. And when fob is in pocket there is possibility to be pressed unexpectedly.

The design of a remote start fob should have a sliding cover to protect the remote start button.
 

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There are also people don't need remote start. I don't have it in all of my previous and current cars...
It is good but not a must. And when fob is in pocket there is possibility to be pressed unexpectedly.

The design of a remote start fob should have a sliding cover to protect the remote start button.
You generally need to hit the key twice and be in close proximity to the car for it to remotely start. It doesn't seem like the sort of thing that would happen accidentally and has never happened to me in 5 years of owning a remote start car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Quick bump in case some have not seen this poll.
 
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