Volvo Car South Africa has announced that “Volvo On Call” – which it bills as an “innovative app-based service that helps motorists to communicate with their cars” – is now standard on all model year 2020 derivatives in the local range.

The company says the service is “entirely free of charge for five years”, adding that thereafter it can be extended “for a small fee”.

The local arm of the Swedish firm says Volvo On Call allows motorists to remotely lock or unlock the doors to their car, check the fuel level, and cool or heat their vehicles from afar. These actions can be performed via smartphone, smartwatch, tablet or desktop.

“One app gives Volvo drivers control over their car’s functions. It also provides access to a world of convenient services,” said Greg Maruszewski, managing director of Volvo Car South Africa.

“It becomes your personal assistant. It can tell you about the best coffee spots in town and send the destination to your car’s navigation system. It knows when you have appointments, where they are, and how to get you there,” he added.

Furthermore, Volvo SA says motorists will appreciate the “associated safety and security benefits” that come with the service.

“Motorists who forget to lock their car will get a notification message. And Volvo On Call automatically contacts the emergency services if you are involved in an accident and tells them where you are,” Maruszewski said.

There’s also the ability to set up an in-car WiFi hotspot, which can be accessed by anyone in the vehicle. In addition, the app will show you the location of your vehicle car on a map, and provide directions to it should you struggle to find it in a parking lot.