Journalists Experience Chevrolet Captiva’s Advanced Capabilities at Innovative Technology Workshop
Media ‘test drive’ 2016 model’s smartphone integration and active safety features
BANGKOK, THAILAND – Do you remember how you felt when you were unable to make any contact because you lost your phone? Do you remember how you felt when you were unable to see things clearly in the dark?
These are two of the questions Chevrolet Thailand asked members of the media at an innovative and immersive technology workshop in Bangkok this week. The journalists first experienced the anxiety associated with feeling disconnected and deprived of sight, followed by the sense of relief provided by new Chevrolet MyLink with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, smartphone connectivity solutions, and active safety features available on the new 2016 Chevrolet Captiva SUV.
“The new Captiva is the first SUV in Thailand to offer both Apple CarPlay and Android
Auto application integration for hands-free, voice-activated calls and text message dictation, and the first Chevrolet in Thailand to introduce a set of advanced active safety features – all of which will make driving in Thailand more convenient and safer,” said Una Tan, Director of Marketing and Customer Experience at Chevrolet Sales Thailand, and chief spokesperson at the event.
Smartphone on Wheels
The redesigned SUV offers Chevrolet customers unsurpassed smartphone connectivity, and the enhancement could not come at a better time. According to the telecommunications research firm Yozzo, 76.5 percent of the 4.3 million mobile handsets sold in Thailand in the first quarter of 2015 were smartphones, with the vast majority being Android and Apple units.
According to W&S Thailand Market Research, more than 65 percent of smartphone users in the country are aged 26 or older and more than half are middle to upper middle income earners – the tech savvy urbanite and modern family who dominate the Captiva customer base.
Chevrolet is providing the smartest, simplest connected driving experience possible with the new MyLink system in the 2016 Captiva whether customers use an iPhone with the Apple CarPlay application or an Android phone with the Android Auto application.
Chevrolet is the first brand globally to introduce Apple CarPlay’s Siri Eyes Free functionality, the first brand in Thailand to offer the app on an SUV, and is among the first to offer Android Auto functionality globally.
Apple CarPlay is a smartphone projection app developed by Apple to allow iPhone 5 or later models to be safely operated in automobiles through the infotainment system, such as MyLink, accessible through Captiva’s newly enhanced 7-inch capacitive touchscreen, or through its integrated steering wheel controls using Siri Eyes Free voice commands. Apple CarPlay-supported features include Phone, Messages, Maps, Music and compatible third-party apps. A full list of apps and market availability can be found at Apple.com/ios/carplay.
Android Auto is a smartphone projection app developed by Google to allow smartphones running the Android operating system (version 5.0 "Lollipop" and later) to be safely used in automobiles, including the new Captiva through its MyLink system. The app offers easy access to Google Maps navigation, Google Now personal assistant and OK Google voice commands, as well as third-party audio and messaging apps. A list of supported apps and market availability can be found at Android.com/auto.
“The decision to introduce these capabilities on Captiva was strategic because smartphone users in Thailand have much in common with our Captiva customers. The new Captiva can match with the ‘Here and Now’ lifestyle of the young generation who want to stay connected with friends and family, especially when stuck in traffic. Customers can listen to music and stay connected when travelling in Chevrolet Captiva,” Tan said.
Chevrolet MyLink-supported apps are certified that they will not distract drivers, and drivers can still use them without having to take their eyes off the road which are the leading cause of most auto accidents. Many features can be controlled via voice commands through buttons on the steering wheel, helping drivers keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. By using voice commands through Siri Eyes Free or OK Google, users can safely make and receive hands-free phone calls and respond to text messages.
2016 Captiva users can connect their smartphone to MyLink via USB port, which enables phone recharging. If the user has a compatible iPhone with Apple CarPlay or compatible Android phone with Android Auto, the system will launch automatically, projecting familiar icons of the phone’s contacts, media and selected apps on capacitive touchscreen.
By allowing MyLink to use Apple and Android’s familiar operating systems and app icons, the Captiva owner can plug and play, using the system immediately without having to learn anything new. New Captiva owners can use the same functions to access and play music stored on their phone or “in the cloud.” MyLink can also display photos and videos on the touchscreen when the vehicle is parked or moving slowly.
“With more than 38,000 Captiva users in Thailand already, we expect the new model’s enhanced smartphone integration to attract even more customers to the brand,” Tan said. “With the new MyLink infotainment system, Chevrolet is setting a new benchmark for connectivity and convenience in the SUV segment in Thailand.”
Preventing accidents in real time
While MyLink’s voice command capability speaks to Chevrolet’s commitment to safety, the 2016 Captiva takes accident prevention to yet another level with the introduction of Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Rear Park Assist. These features use radar sensors located in the rear bumper to monitor the vehicle’s side blind spots, help drivers maneuver when backing up or changing lanes, and potentially avoid accidents.
Side Blind Zone Alert is a lane-changing aid that helps drivers avoid potential collisions by helping to identify other vehicles in blind spots while moving forward or standing still. When a vehicle is detected in a blind spot, an amber symbol in the outside rearview mirror on that side of the vehicle illuminates solid and non-blinking. If the driver activates the turn signal to indicate a lane change while another vehicle is in that blind zone, the symbol will flash in the mirror to further warn the driver of a potential hazard.
Rear Cross Traffic Alert is designed to provide enhanced customer visibility. It works in conjunction with the rear camera system to detect oncoming traffic when backing up in a parking spot. If oncoming traffic or something like a child on a bike is detected, the direction of the approaching hazard is highlighted with a red triangle on the RVC screen. An audible alert also sounds from the speakers on that side of the vehicle.
Rear Park Assist works during low-speed parking manoeuvres by providing “distance to closest object” information in the Driver Information Center and a caution symbol on the Rear Vision Camera. When the vehicle should be stopped immediately to avoid a collision, a continuous audible tone sounds.
Upgraded, modernized design and improved usability
One of the most noticeable changes to the 2016 Captiva is the treatment to the front end, particularly the headlamps, which are more compact and come integrated with daytime running lights. The other major redesign is on the front grille, with the Chevrolet bowtie repositioned on the upper section of the redesigned signature dual-port grille. The overall treatment has given the Captiva a refreshed, high-tech and contemporary feel.
Improvements have also been made inside the Captiva. In addition to the major upgrade of the vehicle’s connectivity package, the interior is more contemporary and up to date with current trends. Thanks to the introduction of the new MyLink system, the radio and navigation controls are now integrated and operable from the large full-color touchscreen on the center console, while the dedicated HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning) controls for the Captiva’s dual-zone climate control system have simplified operation.
Inside, new “ice blue” ambient light in the front and rear foot wells and die-cut door sill plates on the driver and front passenger sides adds high style while providing improved visibility when entering and exiting the vehicle at night.
Other improvements include a new driver information cluster display with more legible graphics, including new icons for differentiating between Cruise Control Engaged and Cruise Control Ready. The driver information can be customized via switches next to the steering wheel. Viewing options include distance, fuel range, average and real-time fuel economy, and speed. The driver can view engine coolant temperature and specific air pressure levels for each tire, the latter being an industry or segment first in some markets. The center stack buttons are now backlit in white for better visibility and reconfigured for improved driver ergonomics.
The Captiva comes with Passive Entry Passive Start (PEPS), which allows drivers to unlock the doors and start the engine by being in range of the Captiva’s sensors, without having to put the key in their hands. For convenience, there is a switch to the right of the steering wheel that turns this feature on and off.