Customers of Bentley, perhaps the world’s most popular ultra-luxury car brand, can now fully embrace the digital age. “My Bentley” services are now available across the company’s range of vehicles, and available for North American. U.K., European, and Chinese located customers.
Connected Car technology was first seen in the luxurious Bentayga SUV, and utilises an on-board data connection to bring together a car, a customer, and their lifestyle. Using a dedicated data SIM card, access to real time information and vehicle features can be provided. Traffic, weather, entertainment, and more, can now be enjoyed on the fly. Vehicle service features such as driving statistics, GPS positioning, and remote door access, are also now available.
My Bentley will arrive under three umbrella categories: SAFE, SMART, and CONVENIENT. They will vary in delivery depending on market region.
SAFE – Peace of Mind for All Situations
The SAFE suite offers up six features that not only assist in case of emergency but also provides information about local hazards, vehicle status and theft alerts.
Private eCall is for access to emergency services and dials in automatically to notify of any critical situation. The feature, when sensing deployment of an airbag, will initiate automatically and establish a call with a Bentley Emergency Call Centre. The call centre operator will be able to pinpoint the car’s location and view information relating to the condition of the vehicle. The operators are specifically trained and will coordinate the necessary emergency services. Private eCall can also be activated manually by pressing the SOS button in the roof console inside the vehicle.
Roadside Assistance Call enables the driver to tap a button in a roof-mounted module to call the Bentley Roadside Assistance Call Centre. Going further, Theft Alert (UK, Europe) provides reassurance to the owner that they are always connected and updated about the status of their vehicle. A notification is sent to the owner as a push message through the My Bentley app should the protection system activate the vehicle’s alarm.
It will endeavour to contain the reason for activation, (attempted break-in, for example) and record the time at when the alarm was triggered. In North America, this service is connected to Stolen Vehicle Finder, where a dedicated call centre attempts to locate the car via GPS and liaises with local enforcement to recover it.
The My Bentley app provides remote locking and unlocking access, irrespective of the customer’s global location.
Swarm technology is the term for vehicles sharing information; in the U.K. and Europe, Local Hazard Information analyses and uses live data from vehicles ahead of a Bentley to feedback road information such as a traffic snark, a crash, or weather conditions. Vehicle sensors are the key to providing that information to the cloud, allowing LHI to feed that data to the driver. The system also reports airbag activation and any emergency call being placed by the eCall system to the server, with this information on-forwarded to other drivers.
Swarm technology is also used for Traffic Sign Recognition in Europe and the U.K., providing real-time updates of current road speed limits, temporary traffic signs and speed restrictions. Should a certain number of vehicles in that location “say” the same information, it is then verified and sent to other Bentley drivers.
Four additional functions are available for North America, including:
- Perimeter Alert enables the owner to define an area where the vehicle is allowed and to be informed when the vehicle exits the defined area via an alert in the My Bentley app and push notification.
- Speed Alert allows the remote setting of a speed threshold, which if exceeded results in an alert via the My Bentley app.
- Valet Alert combines the above two functions, as a separate service within the My Bentley app.
- Curfew Alert uses an owner-defined time window for the use of their vehicle. If the car moves during this period, an alert will be sent.
SMART – Accessibility to the Latest Information.
This aligns My Bentley with in-car infotainment on the road. It includes Apple’s CarPlay access to map directions, music, messaging and calls. An in-car wifi access hotspot provides internet access for all in-car passengers, with up to eight different devices being able to connect. This makes the service ideal for those that double up as an on-the-road office with a tablet, smartphone, and smartwatch. However, in certain circumstances, a SIM card must be provided by the customer.
Online Search allows the driver to search for specific locations using the Navigation system. Providing extensive and up-to-date information on locations, the driver can find the phone number, opening hours and images for their desired destination.
The satellite map feature provides real-time photorealistic imagery, and information on traffic, weather, and road conditions (in separate sections of the service), plus points of interest for the holiday minded. Once a destination has been input, the service overlays if chosen, online-sourced satellite imagery over the native map. Passengers can also be indulged with a News services, incorporating RSS feeds whilst mobile. And should fuel be required, Fuel Information updates on station locations and prices of the fuels available.
CONVENIENT – Remote Services.
The CONVENIENT features deliver a simple yet intuitive way for the driver to receive and view information regarding their Bentley when they are away from the car. This includes updating the map’s information on a regular basis over the air. Six updates over three years are included in the services.
When memory fails, Find My car checks on the last known location of the vehicle via memorised locations thanks to GPS and data towers, and guides the user back to the car. Again, this is a global service, allowing someone in Europe to assist a family member, for example, in the U.K. On those cold northern hemisphere mornings, Activate Heating remotely warms the cabin using the car’s climate control system. It will run to the last set temperature if that is above the ambient surrounding temperature.
Remote access to vehicle statistics, such as expected fuel range, up to date mileage figures, and vehicle checks such as window status (open or closed) can be performed from any location. Bentley recommends safe driving and to confirm location feature functionality via a Bentley dealer or online request.