German carmaker Volkswagen has launched a new media control application that should allow all occupants of certain VW vehicles to operate the installed media system.
Controlling media inside the vehicle usually lies in the hands of the driver, or with the front passenger. Those who are sitting in the rear cabin can’t help but be in the mercy of the front occupants when dealing with in-vehicle entertainment. Rear occupants usually have to adjust to the media preferences of the driver or the front passengers.
This isn’t the case with new VW cars ordered from May 3, 2017 and feature – as standard or as an option – the latest Discover Navigation or Discover Navigation Pro infotainment systems. These infotainment systems include, as standard, the carmaker’s new Media Control app. This new app extends the control of the media to all passengers inside the cabin of compatible VW vehicles, as long as their smartphones are linked to the Discover Navigation or Discover Navigation Pro infotainment systems through a WLAN connection. Volkswagen’s new Media Control app is compatible with smartphones and tablets powered by iOS or Android operating systems.
Now, all passengers would be empowered to operate and even manipulate a number of functions on the infotainment system. For instance, any connected passenger could use his or her tablet or smartphone to select from their own music track and play it on the infotainment system. Moreover, any connected passenger could now adjust the volume of the system or pump up the bass. In addition, any connected passenger could now choose from the available radio stations.
Of course, VW’s new Media Control app isn’t limited to just playing music, adjusting media volume or changing radio stations. Through VW’s new Media Control app, any connected passenger could access the navigation system and enter a new destination or monitor the journey’s progress. Furthermore, any connected passenger could make a phone call through the vehicle’s on-board speakers and microphone.
However, there are some possible downsides for allowing any passenger to have access to the infotainment system. For instance, one occupant may like country music while another prefers rock. The differences in music preferences may lead to constant changes in played tracks. The same situation may happen when dealing with system volume or when making a phone call. Likewise, imagine what may happen when connected passengers issue different commands to the infotainment. It could be hilarious, but it could also be frustrating.
Good thing is that the driver remains as the captain of the ship – he or she could disable the WLAN connection and unlink all erstwhile connected passengers to the infotainment system. This way, only the driver could settle any in-vehicle squabbles. Likewise, the driver is given the final say on how the vehicle’s infotainment system should be used.