Volvo has launched upgrades to the company’s Volvo On Call app, allowing owners to find their car, lock it and monitor everyday use of their Volvo.

The new application for smartphones is designed, according to Volvo, to offer car owners easy-to-use relationship with the car from a distance. It enables users to see a wide variety of information about their car and interact remotely.

In order to find inspiration for further development, Volvo Cars uses crowdsourcing on Facebook, where people can share and vote for their favorite feature idea.

The Volvo On Call App is currently available in 16 countries and Volvo said it has quickly become a very popular feature among customers.

Studies show that users interact with the app on a weekly basis on average. Volvo expects the new design and added features will make it even more attractive, and roll-out in new countries will continue in 2013.

Features in the new Volvo On Call app include checking whether the car is secure (if not, users can lock the doors remotely), locating the vehicle on a map (useful if you’ve parked in an unfamiliar city), see fuel level, average fuel consumption, mileage and trip meter data, plus basic maintenance details such as light bulb faults, washer fluid, brake fluid, oil and coolant levels.

The Honk and Flash feature allows the user to activate the horn or flash the lights independently to allow easy location of the car in busy areas.

New features launched:

  • Enhanced driving journal for business people. Detailed data of each trip during the last 40 days can be downloaded and stored. There is also a possibility to extract the data as an Excel file. Now allows you to see the route the car took on a map (incl. Google Street View) and gives speed/fuel consumption/battery consumption at specific time intervals.
  • Send destination to the car. Using the map function within the app, select a location (within 31 miles) and send the destination to the car. This will then show-up in the car’s RTI system.
  • Outside temperature. Shows the temperature using web-based weather information at the parked location of the car.
  • Remote pre-heating. Allows the user to set the timer or remotely start the heating of the passenger compartment prior to the journey.
  • Car in motion. Shows if the car is in use.

On top of these, the following new features are specific to the Volvo V60 Plug-in Diesel Hybrid:

  • Passenger compartment preconditioning. Allows the owner to set the timer or remotely start the heating or cooling of the passenger compartment prior to the journey.
  • Hybrid battery check. Shows the current state of charge of the battery.
  • Charge reminder. An alarm can be set to remind the driver to plug the vehicle in to charge.
  • Charge interruption warning. Shows if the power supply to charge the vehicle has been interrupted.

Volvo Cars said it always wants to be one step ahead in order to meet customer’s evolving needs that change from one day to another, as new innovations and technologies continuously change how we live our lives. That’s why the Volvo On Call development team have asked how new features in the app can make their life easier.

The crowdsourcing effort is hosted at the Volvo On Call Idea Hub on Facebook, where people also can also vote for their favorite idea.

The most popular ideas for the next generation Volvo On Call application will be presented on March 5, 2013.

The Volvo On Call app is now available in App Store, Google Play and Microsoft Market.

The Volvo On Call App is currently available in the following countries as of February 2013: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Spain, United Kingdom, Sweden and Switzerland. In Portugal services are available from a customer centre located in one of the other countries.