Bentley customers can integrate and link their car to their lifestyle with enhanced Connected Car technology, thanks to a suite of ‘My Bentley’ services available in the UK, Europe and North America – and now available in China. First introduced on the Bentayga, My Bentley has grown in functionality and is now available across Bentley’s entire model range.
Connected Car services use an on-board data connection to link together a customer, their car and the outside world, with online connectivity providing real time information and simple access to multiple vehicle features via the infotainment system or smartphone.
Using a dedicated embedded SIM card (included in all new Bentleys), the car will provide in-car content from news updates, to weather forecasts and real-time traffic information, to local hazard warnings. Remote services are also offered via the user’s smartphone, and can remotely lock or unlock the vehicle, show drive statistics and display the vehicle’s position via the My Bentley app.
The features of My Bentley are categorised into three main groups: SAFE, SMART, and CONVENIENT. The following services outlined on vary by market region, therefore availability should be confirmed through a regional Bentley retailer or press office.
SAFE – Peace of Mind for All Situations
The SAFE suite provides six features that not only assist in case of emergency, but also provides information about local hazards, vehicle status and theft alerts.
Private eCall ensures emergency services can be automatically notified during 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 report a breakdown via a direct line to the Bentley Roadside Assistance Call Centre simply by pressing a button in the roof module. This connects the driver to the call centre, who are then able to help provide assistance in the event of an incident.
Theft Alert (UK, Europe) provides reassurance to the owner that they are always connected and updated about the status of their vehicle. In the event of an alarm activation in the vehicle, a notification is sent to the owner as a push message through the My Bentley app, containing the reason for triggering the alarm, such as a break-in or activation of an interior sensor, and a timestamp of when the alarm was triggered. For North America, this service is enhanced to Stolen Vehicle Finder, where a dedicated call centre attempts to locate the car via GPS and liaises with local enforcement to recover it.
Lock My Car allows the customer to remotely lock and unlock the vehicle using the My Bentley app, and shows the lock status of the vehicle providing peace of mind, no matter where they are in the world.
Using the latest ‘swarm’ technology (where vehicles are able to relay information to others), Local Hazard Information (UK, Europe) uses live cloud data from vehicles ahead to make the Bentley driver aware of hazards along their route, including accidents, poor road conditions and reduced visibility. This uses a number of sensors from around the vehicle e.g. rain and light sensors to feedback driving conditions. The system also reports airbag activation and any emergency call being placed by the eCall system to the server. Subsequently other drivers are notified of potential hazards. This service will become available in more markets over time.
Swarm technology is also used for Traffic Sign Recognition (UK, Europe) updating the driver of current road speed limits, along with temporary traffic signs and speed restrictions along the route. If a number of cars have sent the identical message, 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 a 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 – Accessability to the Latest Information
The SMART features provide greater access to in-car information before and during travel, and ensure that the driver is always connected with the latest and most up-to-date information at their fingertips, and includes Apple CarPlay®. With an iPhone® connected, smartphone functions such as map directions, calls, messaging and music are seamlessly linked to the vehicle’s infotainment display, enabling the driver to stay connected to their mobile device whilst staying focused on the road.
An on-board Wi-Fi hotspot allows the owner to create a wireless in-car internet network for every passenger to use. This feature allows up to eight devices to be connected allowing all passengers to stay connected at all times, and can be especially valuable for customers who use their car as a mobile office or who have multiple devices such as phones, tablets and watches. This feature requires the customer to either provide a sim card or tether their mobile phone.
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 maps feature provides information regarding speed limits, traffic information and points of interest which are displayed over the satellite imagery. Once the destination has been selected this feature displays an optional overlay of online-sourced satellite imagery over the native map providing a photorealistic landscape updated live.
Real-Time Traffic Information gathers the latest information on traffic flow, and incorporates it into the navigation system to help the driver avoid congestion on their route. When activated, this feature displays traffic flow data and information on any obstructions along the calculated route.
The Weather service provides forecasts for the current vehicle position and destination, enabling the driver to view information including temperatures, rain probability and cloud coverage.
A News service allows the driver to access the latest headlines on-the-go. The driver can use read-out capability to access articles via various RSS news feeds and allows the driver to maintain focus on the road whilst listening to current events.
Fuel Information provides a list of fuel stations near to the location, which show the relevant fuel type and pricing and can be filtered, allowing the driver to choose the most appropriate.
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.
Map Update ensures the vehicle’s maps contain the most up-to-date content using over-the-air updates, without the need for the customer to visit a retailer for a software update, and avoiding any cost. Six map updates are included over a three year period.
Find My Car stores the last known location of the vehicle and assists the owner in finding their way back to their car. Customers are able to view the location of their vehicle from anywhere in the world. This service uses mobile networks and GPS to store the location of the vehicle and how long it has been parked there.
Activate Heating allows the owner to remotely activate the climate control in their vehicle. The climate control will heat to the last temperature the vehicle was set to as long as it is above the ambient temperature, warming the cabin prior to the occupants’ arrival.
My Car Status enables the owner to view various information about their vehicle remotely, including fuel range, mileage, and if the lights are on or the windows open.
Today’s customers have an even greater expectation of luxury products, and the My Bentley connected service.