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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
There are plenty of areas around the country (and world) that do not have good cellular coverage.

It would be useful if VOC could use longer range Bluetooth or a host’s WiFi to remote start, unlock or precondition the car.

As people travel cross-country, cellular service is never guaranteed and can never be taken for granted.

Recently, I was at a restaurant 10 miles out of town. I had no cellular coverage, but the restaurant had WiFi to which I was connected. In addition, I was in the restaurant and could unlock my car door with just the key FOB but not my phone.

A little more thought needs to be given for alternatives where cellular is not available. It would have been much nicer to start my car from within the restaurant rather than going out in -20°F.

I am not lazy, but I would like a lot more thought going into keyless vehicles and alternatives to relying on a cell phone. I am glad that Volvo is seeking input via surveys on the subject.

I wanted to give the issue visibility here before design assumptions are made that are not 99.999% accurate and reasonably redundant.

What have been your experiences and what ideas would you share?

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Ah, a kindred spirit. For years I've talked about sometimes spotty cellular service in places I go a couple times a year, and it being one of the reasons I still prefer non-streaming infotainment and on-board Nav. Most poo-poo me, so I shut up and go back in my hole with my old-style preferences. ;)

I do agree use of longer-range Bluetooth or WiFi for VoC (and similar) functions could be an enhancement, but beyond if it's something that should be moved up on a mfgr priority list, WiFi especially has some security challenges from my POV.

Allowing my iPhone to connect via it's personal WiFi Hotspot to the car may be a little range improvement over Bluetooth, IDK. If that could be done, great, but I doubt I'd make use of the new feature very often. I'll leave it to engineers that could figure out the real benefits or not.

For me the bigger issue using something other than cellular to wirelessly open and control my car is security. We've seen videos and what is possible with a few hundred dollars of tech and bad guys intercepting garage door and vehicle bluetooth connectivity, then easily gaining access after being near to someone that remotely opened/closed it before, and the games mfgrs are continuing to play trying to stay ahead of that game. I'll leave Bluetooth at that. I'm OK security-wise if the place I frequented had WiFi in it's parking lot, I trusted it (like the place I worked), and I predefined it's credentials with my vehicle.

OTOH if I'm on a roadtrip and want to go into a restaurant, hotel, etc that I don't frequent, and I didn't have cellular connectivity, but they do happen to have WiFi in their parking lot that my car could connect to (will they?), I'd either have to go in and come back with the credentials to define that WiFi SSID with my car, OR I'd have to enable WiFi Hotspot auto-join so the car would connect to whatever may be available once it came within range. Just like with my iPhone, iPad, etc., I would never consider turning-on Hotspot auto-join (especially with no VPN) as you have no idea who is on that other end and what they may be doing with my data, and in this case, potentially giving them a way into my car while I'm sleeping, in the restroom, or whatever -- similar to the Bluetooth challenges that may exist. Auto-join is a really bad idea at least for my paranoid self. So if there is no cellular connectivity, and the establishment has WiFi coverage in their parking lot, that puts me back to needing to predefine the SSID to the car -- and now I've made an extra trip back/forth to my car to define the SSID with appropriate credentials, to prepare myself for when I come back the final time to leave -- I lost the benefit unless I am sure I will return here again one day.​

Given how common cellular is for most owners, most of the time these days, I suspect use of WiFi for VoC (or similar) car controls is just hard for any auto mfgr to justify based on low use and owner demand, and then when the mfgr considers security implications, the requirement becomes something that remains at the bottom of a priority list somewhere. ;)
 

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Look at xfinity, ATT, and Google Fi projects where WIFI access points associated with the service use same SSID and accept credentials based on the backend proxying. With current authentication schemes the exposure of credentials is minimized, and the Volvo's are taking carte of confirming the access and providing profile of allowed services. This technology has been in use since late 90... so it is not a rocket science.

/kleks
 

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Look at xfinity, ATT, and Google Fi projects where WIFI access points associated with the service use same SSID and accept credentials based on the backend proxying. With current authentication schemes the exposure of credentials is minimized, and the Volvo's are taking carte of confirming the access and providing profile of allowed services. This technology has been in use since late 90... so it is not a rocket science.

/kleks
I think that based on the use case of *NOT* being in coverage as the primary issue where something like municipal wifi through Comcast or GoogleFi may not be there.

In the next generation of vehicles starting with the XC40 Recharge bluetooth based remote key & VOC access. The actual modem component which ties into VOC is cellular only. The WiFi HotSpot feature is through another SIM entirely and only uses the modem in the car as literally that... the modem. Also, there is definitely module to module authentication happening behind the scenes to actually remote lock, start, etc... There isn't anything else there from a software perspective.

Honestly, knowing nothing more than what I stated, power seems to be the main issue. There are tons of posts about parasitic drain and how long do you keep systems "active" etc. Part of the next gen cars will be Bluetooth LE, which is not on the current generation SPA cars.

In short, since I am sure I will get flamed - it's probably technically possible but I just don't know enough about the other vehicle systems to talk about likeliness. I would be more willing to put my bet on an ancillary module supporting BT LE sold as a retrofit to the current SPA cars. Even that though would have to have enough demand to justify the investment.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
@WhoaVolvo,

No flaming here. You hit it on the head - where there is no cellular coverage.

Regardless of location, cellular service, WiFi connectivity, my wife can start her MY12 Toyota Camry within a radius of a 1/4 mile - mostly line of sight from her key FOB.

If there is a desire to eliminate the key FOB altogether and use digital devices like a smartphone, then I would like to see all options considered rather than rely exclusively on cellular service.

The mindset that cellular service and connectivity are ubiquitous and reliable is a myth. I doubt that even a satellite-based system would work - knowing that SiriusXM has line of sight limitations.

Anyway, I truly hope that Volvo will innovate around and implement multiple solutions. Eliminating the key FOB and relying on cellular service will not be a practical solution. I contend though that a digital device has other built-in features if utilized.


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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)

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Discussion Starter #7
It is interesting that the major automakers, including Volvo Cars, are members of the Connected Car Consortium (CCC). But there is one notable US manufacturer missing from the membership list which is Ford.


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